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Michael Ulshoeffer to MVB, [c31 January 1822]

Dr. Sir

Your valuable letter of the 23d, I have received, and read with pleasure and attention. Although I am fully sensible of the great general advantages that may flow from our later proceedings here, yet I confess that considerable doubts suggest themselves as to what particular evils may be their consequence. Without disguise then, I fear that most of our present members of congress may be sacrificed in this struggle. After all, they are the offending party, and will have to answer for their conduct. The more the subject of V. R's appointment is agitated, the more will they be censured. If this be so, have they deserved such harsh treatment?

I have greatly feared, that resenting this course, our members at washington will revenge themselves upon you. If they pursue this course, it will be very unpleasant for you to be at Washington for two sessions with such a delegation, will there be any harmony or any unity of action under such circumstances?

But I have also thought, that the result of this war upon the P. M. Genl. would perhaps entirely destroy all your influence with the heads of departments at washington, under the present administration, & with the president.

Under these circumstances my doubts were, whether so much ought to be hazarded in order to gain the removal of V. R. or even R. J. Meigs, neither of which points were by the bye considered attainable under the present administration.

The general good that might result from a firm and inflexible republican remonstrance, was all that remained, and as you had made up your mind to breast the storm personally, we have had no indisposition to face the P. M. Genl for the public good. Yet there would be great impediments to our harmoniously and efficiently proceeding in this state, even if it was supposed that we were hostile to the administration of Mr. Munroe. Altho' it does not follow because we censure the conduct of the P. M. Genl. that we are opposed to the national administration, still our opponents will endeavor to give that colouring to our proceedings. And much of our republican support might be taken away, if such a belief prevailed. It is obviously our policy therefore to continue, as we have been from the first, friendly to Mr. Monroe, and to repel every imputation of hostility to his administration.

I have furthermore feared that the President might in his reply, if he makes one, to the Albany remonstrance, justify or take side with, the PM Genl. If so, in what a dilemma will we not be placed. Or may be not, in noticing the federal proceedings, say something injurious to our cause. If he avoids any notice of either proceedings, as I hope he may, it will be better.

In the federal proceedings, the resolution of approbation to Mr. Clinton will I believe be an antidote to all their pretended support of the general administration. At least, in this state, that resolution will be sufficient to expose the cloven foot. It has mortified me to understand that the proceedings of the John Taylor meeting are to appear in the Argus. And I have spoken to that effect and remonstrated warmly against their publication in the state paper. But I am told that our friends here have consented, & that the remarks which also ^are to^ accompany the publication, will expose the whole proceeding in its true light. Still I think that they ought not to be published in that paper, & that no remarks will do away the stain of those proceedings appearing in the columns of a republican press.

Forgive me for being prolix on this subject. I write to you freely as I think without any disguise. And I sincerely hope that nothing which has taken place, will lessen your influence at Washn, or your friendship with our members there. On the contrary, I think with you that much good may grow out of this affair, if prudently managed, and the old republican cause be essentially benefited. It is undoubtedly our duty to do every thing to maintain the republican party, and the integrity of its principles. Every effort ought to be made to promote the election of a firm and decided republican to the presidency.

On the subject of president I recd lately a long letter form an old friend in Ohio. He asks whether N. Y. wants the next prest? & whether to gain that point we would not even take D.W. Clinton? He represents that state as willing to support him, or any one else we may thing fit, who will put down virginia dictation or the slave-holding controul! Similar feelings prevail in other parts I fear, and this is a subject of deep regret to all who wish the continuance of our union and national prosperity. I replied to my correspondent in what I considered suitable terms: informing him that we in no event would support D.W.C & that our republican strength was increasing, & would be enlisted in the support of some undeviating republican for the next presidency & whether he came form this, or any other section of the country.

About the mode of electing presidential electors, nothing further will I presume be done by us. You must decide the matter.

My own personal views as to the future, are not such as your kind wishes suggest would be proper. If I can retire, or rather if Noah will let me do so in peace, that is my desire, but if compulsory measures are resorted to, perhaps I may again sacrifice my own wishes and interests.

I have nothing new to add. We are progressing with business here in the old way, & if two sessions are not held, the present session may continue a long time.

Give my best respects to the Secy of the Navy, and all my friends at Washington, & believe me to remain.

Your Sincere friend

M: Ulshoeffer

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