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S[amuel] R[ossiter] Betts to MVB, 24 February 1817

Dear Sir

Permit me to rejoice for myself & the State, that your indisposition is so far removed as to <permit> suffer you to resume your seat in the Senate, & your attentions to your friends. That I am so flatteringly estimated in that number is peculiarly gratifying to me, as I can see in it evidence of personal respect only, as in my humble sphere to which a few days will now return me, there will be nothing of political influence that can render my attachments of consequence to any individual. To my profession I shall now devote a few years of assiduous perseverance, firmly determined to interfere no farther in politics than my zeal for our cause will compel me to, in my own vicinage & at the polls.

It is a subject of congratulation that your range of movement is more elevated, and that it cannot be too much so, to be amply honored by your talents. You will not impart it to idle conceitedness only, if presuming upon your friendliness, I should venture to suggest, that I shall ever hope, you will adhere to your determination to connect yourself with no class of men, to effectuate a particular purpose. The advantage will be all theirs—the public & yourself will have to sustain the prejudice. Your friends are well persuaded that your career of usefulness & distinction has but commenced—its advance will be anxiously observed by them, & they entertain no doubt that it will accomplish all their hopes.

We shall leave here in a week f[rom] to-day. We are curious as to your conclusions upon the candidate for Governor. I may say, with assurance, that we feel no great solicitude. We shall accept very contentedly whoever you may see proper to offer—but we cannot esteem the occasion one that would justify a schism of the party. Savage & myself & others who have thought with us, stand in more fear of Clintons friends than himself, and should give ourselves no great uneasiness at his nomination if we could be assured that he would connect himself to the party, & banish from him the evil spirits who have once ruined him and ^are^ only calculated for the destruction of whatever of good may come within their reach. His own sins have been manifold <illegible> and “red like crimson”, yet alas! how too much familiarized have we not been with political ostracisms one year, & an apotheosis of the same man the next.

With sentiments of high considerations

& esteem I am

most respectfully


S.R. Betts

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)