S[amuel] R[ossiter] Betts to MVB, 31 January 1820
Jany 31. 1820
You will perceive by our papers of to-day what the County Convention did last week. A high compliment was passed upon you and a strong expression of disapprobation of Clinton's administration, given. Every exertion is making to call up the spirits of our friends, but tho' most of them are determined to do their utmost for the cause, yet they are possessed with a despondency that it is difficult to banish. They, too many of them, believe that Clinton with the aid of the Federalists must Succeed. I have been steeped in hot water ever Since my return. The Clintonians are excessively elated and insolent—and planting themselves solely upon McIntyre they calculate to silence the Republicans: I have fought them in public & bye-places, till I flatter myself, I have aided in raising the feelings of our friends, a little.
You may write it down for "decreed & settled," that the Feds. are going against us. Duer is in Albany, and you know is an excessively sanguine man—he may entertain strong hopes of influencing his old Friends. In this town at least I know he will be mistaken: these Feds. who voted our ticket last spring & were active, have several of them told me plainly that they Should not go with us this—some put their objection upon Tompkins—some upon Noah's late publication &c. but the real fact is, they believe the whole Federal party are to support Clinton and are to find a great object in it. If Mr. King would publicly declare his opposition to Clinton, it would influence a great many of that party.
Pray let me hear immediately who is to be the Candidate. If Tompkins runs, I assure you with all sincerity that there must be some further elucidation of his accounts, or the whole Election will be in most imminent hazard. You do not in Albany appreciate the effect this matter has had upon the public mind: many of our discreet and influential friends, say that the weight of evidence is now against the Vice President. Altho' I think myself that McIntyre has not in his last letter in the least strengthened the attack in his first—yet the public will not attend to nice criticisms & acute distinctions—they require plain & full facts.
Will you offer my best respects to our Republican friends who meet with you every evening<?>
Mrs. Betts begs her best remembrances to yourself & family & Mr. & Mrs. Evans.
with great regard