Smith Thompson to MVB, 17 March 1823

Smith Thompson to MVB, 17 March 1823


My Dear Sir

I presume you have by this time arrived at Albany and that as matter of course there will be pretty ^free^ communciation among our friends relative to the Presidential question. Your situation here has afforded you many opportunities of hearing and learning much of the views and feelings of others and your opinion will deservedly be entitled to great weight, and if I know myself I do not wish to embarrass you as to any object you may have in view on this question. I have attributed your apparent reserve to me on that subject to doubts in your own mind as to what course under all circumstances was most advisable to be pursued. I never have permitted myself to question your friendship for me. And you may rest assured that you will be the first person to whom I shall communicate my suspicion if any shall be entertained on that score. Deeming candor and frankness the only proper course in such case, after the long intimacy and friendship that has subsisted between us. It has been repeatedly mentioned to me during the last winter as matter of surprise that there was apaprently so much apathy in my own State with respect to myself if there was any sincere intention of presenting my name as a candidate I have always answered that I submitted the question entirely to the voluntary movement of my friends. That delicacy and diffidence as to my pretentions would not permit me to urge them on the subject. And I still mean to leave ^them^ to act as they may deem most prudent and discrete. If however there is any intention, at any period of presenting my name as a candidate I would beg leave to suggest that I am well pursuaded that delay will weaken the prospect of success. Friends that I may have out of the State will naturally be looking and waiting for some movement there. And will very reasonably conclude, that if I cannot have the support of my own State, I ought not to be considered a candidate.

It is unnecessary for me to enter into the prospects and reasons for and against the several Gentlemen whose names are before the public. They are as familiar to you and perhaps more so than to me. I take it for granted that there will be a caucus here next winter, and whoever shall be fairly nominated, will and ought to be supported by the republican party. And if my name is on that occasion to be brought in view with any prospect of success, it appears to me indispensable, that there should be previously some expression of public opinion in my own State. That has been done with respect to all the other Gentlemen either by public meetings or through the news papers. It is not advisable that any thing should be done to bind or pledge the party to any man. It would be very fit and proper however that an opinion should be expressed in favor of a caucus nomination here, and shewing the reason and grounds upon which such a course was absolutely necessary, under existing circumstances, and at the same time say what was wished and felt with respect to a Candidate. This I must confess would be grateful to my feelings if my friends felt disposed to adopt this course, whatever might be their ultimate determination. This would not at all interfere with any other arrangement with respect to myself should it be thought advisable. Indeed it would very much facilitate it. Owing to this peculiar situation of most or all the Gentlemen who have been spoken of. I cannot but think that if there is any thing like a general opinion among the republicans of our State in my favor the prospect is a very fair one. I wish you to write me candidly and frankly on the subject. I place great reliance on your opinions and friendship. And should be very unwilling that our views on this subject should in any manner be brought in collision

Yours very Sincerely

Smith Thompson


Smith Thompson

march 17th. 1823

avows his desire to

be a candidate for


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