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[Nathan Sanford] to MVB, 28 December 1814

my Dear Friend

I have received your letter of the 25th, and I immediately sit down to answer it.

It is most unfortunate, that the Court Martial should take you from Albany, where you may be most wanted. I cannot help wishing the Court Martial to the devil, and you, some more pleasant and profitable employment, which would leave you at Albany, to act for the public good, and that of yourself and your friends. It will also defeat another arrangement, which I had formed, in my own mind; I mean that of seeing you, at Hudson, or elsewhere, a few days before the meeting of the Legislature. Disappointed in my expectation of seeing you here, I had determined to leave this City, in time to meet you, and confer with you, in person. Such a conference would be agreeable, and might be very useful, not merely in respect to one object, but as to all, in which you and I must act or advise. But I submit, and I shall never repine at any event, which may confer honor on my friend. On the contrary, you may rely, that you have no friend, who will be more gratified with your success, or more disposed to elevate you, to the highest stations, to which you have already, made such rapid advances.

I entirely approve of what you propose to say to our friend Skinner, respecting the place of Comptroller. On that subject you may speak to him, in my name, as well as your own. I have also opened that subject, to our friend Hubbard. His answer was, that he would be advised by you and me. I sincerely hope, that the idea may be acceptable to Mr. Skinner. His answer, will enable you to judge of the propriety of opening the other subject to him, at that time. If the place of Comptroller, should be agreeable to him, I think, you may with perfect propriety, unbosom yourself to him, upon all the other subjects, of which we have conversed, in the confidence, which he of course, will observe. If he should be bent upon the pursuits of the other object, which you, I presume will discover, you must decide in your discretion, how you will treat the case. You can, if you please, represent to him, that the place of Comptroller, is completely within his power, through your friendship and mine, and that of a few others; that the other object may probably be contested, and that some of his rivals, though not possessing superior merit, will from circumstances, have great advantages in the contest, and will probably be able to bring into the field, a much more powerful support, than any, which he can array against them. If he shall appear to be obstinately bent upon the place in question, it would be most prudent, I should think, not to mention the name of your friend, as his rival. All this, however I commit to your discretion and management.

I shall be much obliged to you, to see Mr. Hackley, as you propose to do. You will of course, say to him, what you think proper; but knowing the respect he has for you, I should think, a full exposition, would be well received.

Your journey and your situation at Utica, will throw many members of the Legislature, in your way. You will of course, hear from all, and speak where you may think it proper. Will you be so good as to write to me, as often as you can.

It appears to me, that your presence at Albany, though not perhaps essential on the last day of January, and the two first days of February, will be exceedingly important, and indeed indispensible, from the first or second of February, to the eighth. All the questions, in which your own wishes and those of your friends, are most concerned, will be virtually decided, within that time. Is it not possible, to give us a week at Albany, at that time? The army Judge Advocate, Mr. Bancker is a gentleman of good talents, and perhaps, may take testimony, without your presence.

Have you had any communication upon these subjects, with our friend Elmendorf?

Mr. Ross will be in this City, in a few days, and will be consulted.

I had intended to write you a long letter, respecting Juris Consultus, and amicus Juris Consultus. I have not had time to write, and now, you will not have time to read such a letter, should I write it. You and the Speaker, have given Kent a lesson, for life.

Shall I address my letters to you, at Utica?

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 2 (1 January 1812-16 February 1815)