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Moses I. Cantine to MVB, 6 January 1822

Dear Sir

I wrote to you this day, and put the letter in the Post Office here, but as I entertain strong suspicions that the letter to you, together with others may not get safely out of Albany, I avail myself of an opportunity of sending one to Catskill to be mailed there: The subject was respecting the office of post Master in this city: Solomon Van Rensselaer has written home that the removal is to take place, and that he is to have the appointment if he receives a respectable recommendation from this place. This news has created great bustle among us, and several candidates have entered the lists; the most loud in their own favour are Howe & Col Stilwell, and Southwicks friends are noisy to keep him in. I wrote you that I should probably be on myself and apply for the office, that Worth was also an applicant; but that either he or myself would give way, that being cut down last winter, left our establishment a meagre one; and that we should have to struggle hard; to pay for the establishment and support two families, and that I was ready to give up the situation of State Printer, if that was an impediment in the way of my appointment.

The news ^from Washington^ gave rise to the call of a meeting; it was undoubtedly intended to be partial; it was held at Vedder's in Green Street. I called <heard> by accident of the meeting and called in; and found about fifty people assembled, generally such as made Clinton Governor, and mostly Southwicks creatures. Myself, and a half a dozen others were all I knew, none of the known men of the party, besides those few attended. They had Mayell in the chair and Eslish secy. Mayell I perceived was tired of his situation. The object of some was to retain Southwick; and of others to make room for Stilwell or Howe, and these latter appeared disposed to join in eulogising Southwick, probably calculating on that course as most conducive to their interests; believing he would certainly be removed. I found no great difficulty in <scattering> this meeting good naturly; though Knower, Dudley &c were afraid to come near it; and probably they acted discreetly; it would have been injurious for them to have been there, if the meeting had proceeded to carry into effect their objects. I carried it for an adjournment by a very strong vote; and as the adjourned meeting is to be to morrow evening in the hall of the capital; that will be last of it: they can get no meeting there in this cold weather.

So we now stand; whether I press forward or not; the events of 48 hours will determine. I have ^had^ free conversation with Worth; He declines competition if I go on; but the great consideration with me is, whether I can safely do so without first quieting this ferment; or turning it to favour my appointment: to go counter to them, would prejudice our paper; and then a failure at Washington would be fatal. Under this view of the subject, I have suggested to Worth to wait and see what the next efforts towards a meeting will produce, and ^if^ they are unfavorable to me; then as he has nothing to loose; we would give him all the aid we can consistant with our own  preservation; and ^let^ him try his hand:

I have written to Genl Pitcher and Mr Walworth & Leake has written to Mr Rochester and Mr Hubbard. Unless you receive one from me before this: then all will have been suppressed here, and will at once prove the necessity of a removal. I shall write again by the next mail.

Yours Sincerely

Moses I. Cantine

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 4 (3 December 1821-31 December 1824)