MVB to New York legislature, 12 March 1829
TO THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY.
Gentlemen--The President, with the advice and consent of the senate, has appointed me Secretary of State for the United States, and I have felt it my duty to accept the unsolicited and distinguished honour which has thus been conferred upon me.
This decision makes it necessary that I should resign the office of governor of this state, to which I have recently been elected.
The high and just distinction universally accorded this office, and the flattering manner in which it was bestowed upon me by the people, are of themselves sufficient to impose upon me, in the step I am about to take, a responsibility of the most impressive character. But these considerations, imposing as they are, are greatly enhanced by the deep consciousness I entertain of the many and unmerited favours conferred upon me by this my native state—favours which have excited on my part feelings of gratitude, that will, I hope, be as permanent in their influence as they were just and sincere in their conception. The latter portion of my public life having been chiefly devoted to the affairs of the general government, I indulge the hope that the place to which I have been called will enable me to make myself more useful, not only to fellow-citizens of the Union, to the people of this State, than I could be in my present station. For although the state of New-York, from the extent of her territory, the abundance of her resources, and the magnitude of her population, possesses in herself the elements of a great empire, and already presents interests deserving the highest care; yet, under our confederated system, these very considerations give to her a paramount interest in the just operation of the federal government. It is therefore under the full conviction that our constituents are at least as deeply interested in the successful conduct of the important affairs with which I am hereafter to be connected, as in the administration of those which appertain to the chief magistracy of this state, that I have come to the conclusion already stated. And with these impressions as to the course of public duty, I do herby resign the office of governor of the state of New-York, together with that of regent of the university thereof.
The few months, during which the executive power has been entrusted to my hands, have been sedulously devoted to the service of the state, though I cannot flatter myself, so far as I am individually concerned, that much has as yet been done to promote the public good. I have however the best reasons to hope for the most beneficial results to our constituents from our joint labours, and more especially from the efforts which you will continue to make in this respect. This confidence is justly increased by the conviction that I leave the executive department in the hands of one with whose character and qualifications I have long been intimately acquainted. If ample talents, and a sound discriminating judgement-if integrity and singleness of purpose, and truly republican principles, furnish any just grounds for expecting a safe administration of the government, that expectation, I am persuaded, may, in the present instance, be fully indulged.
Having thus surrendered the trusts with which I have been honoured, allow me to tender you my sincere acknowledgments for the uniform courtesy and kindness with which you have co-operated with me in the discharge of our public duties; and let me add the assurance, that in whatever situation I may be placed, the interest and the glory of New-York shall be the objects of my unceasing solicitude and most vigilant exertions.
M. VAN BUREN.
Albany, March 12, 1829.
Printed in Albany (N.Y.) Argus, 17 March 1829, p.2.