Rufus King to MVB, 31 January 1820

Rufus King to MVB, 31 January 1820



dear Sir,

The V. P. left town today at 12oClk on his return home. He stopped at the Senate on his way and I had a short Conference with him in one of the Comee. Rooms. I had not seen him for some days, during which from considerations of delicacy I omitted to visit him.

Referring to his nomination, he asked what Course the Federalists would be likely to pursue as between him and Mr C. Before answering I asked him whether he had accepted the nomination. He replied in the negative, and added that the Nomination had been first to Mr Thompson at NYork, who had detained the same to be delivered to him on his arrival there.

I then observed that between him and Mr C. I apprehended that a majority, perhaps a large one, of the Federalists would vote for Mr C, tho' I believed that between the Secretary of the N. and Mr. C. the case would be reversed. He said that the S. of the N. would not consent to be a Candidate, & inquired what we thought of Judge Yates. I answered that I was not sufficiently informed on this point to express an opinion, adding that admitting to Mr. C. a majority of feds. <illegible> to the V. P. would without doubt obtain a majority of all the other votes, and so the issue would depend upon the Comparison of the two majorities.

Apologyzing for the unreserved expession of my opinions I remarked that we were united in deeming it most important to exclude Mr C; that notwithstanding the disinclination that he or any other person might feel to become the Candidate, the important Enquiry seemed to be, who will be most likely, in the opinion of those best qualified to determine, to accomplish this work—this man ought to be the Candidate.

I said in the Event of his being the Candidate, it would be indispensable that his a/cs should be settled before the Election: he replied that he should lose no Time in this business, & that he had four Propositions to offer which must bring the Business to a Close. He was in his own Carriage, but might probably take the Stage for greater Expedition. That he shd delay his answer till he arrived at NY & might think it expedient to do so until he should reach albany. I remarked that much Impatience wd exist to receive his answer, nevertheless I wished him to see the whole ground before he decided. Here our conference ended

with much Esteem & Respect

I am DrSir

yr. ob. Serv.

Rufus King

Editorial Process Complete
Editorial Note:

Printed (with major revisions and fanciful editing) in King, Correspondence, 6:263-264.