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W[illiam] L[earned] Marcy to MVB, 15 February 1824

My Dear Sir,

I have recd. yours of the 7th inst and am very happy to have any obliquity in my notions corrected by a reference to your long experience. I hope you did not think that any thing would lead me to intermit any possible exertions to produce the best results. It is one of my maxims in politics "That nothing is to be dispaired of." And it is a rule of conduct which I have adopted in my correspondence with you to speak of things as they are. While I would not draw from my hopes I wish to avoid to taking counsel of my fears. Notwithstanding all that has been done (& I assure you much has been done) I am still apprehensive that the senate will pass some law giving the choice of electors to the people. There are in that body 14 good men & true who are willing to vote down the Bill from the senate ^assembly^ or any bill that may be devised for altering the mode of choosing electors yet if a bill must be passed they would most of them prefer imitating the members of the assembly & vote for some thing which would seem to be satisfactory to the people advocates of giving the choice to the people. But few of them know what all men in power should not be ignorant of, that they cannot act without incurring responsibility. Of the remaining senators there are a few who say they will only go for districts—others again will only go for an election by a general ticket—a majority necessary for a choice and on failure resort to the to the legislature; but upon these men I do not think there is much reliance.

The embarrassing question about Governor begins to be agitated and I avow to you that the nomination of Gov Yates is not an event to be put down as certainly to happen. But sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

As I have been thus far the herald of bad news. I must still act in that character & I hope for the last time. We have difficulty relative to the Argus. Your Protigee Leake is and has been for some time hostile to us He has mutilated many articles which Croswell has prepared for that paper. He is in favor of the electoral Law, decidedly hostile to a caucus, and has a great respect for the character of the opposition in the Legislature and has lately discovered that it is highly improper for the State paper to be a party paper. As Mr Croswell has no direct interest in the establishment he claims the right of being the judge of the proper cause to be produced. This conduct of Mr L. is very vexatious to C.— and embarassing to us. We have procured an interview & mutual explanation between the editors in presence of Genl. Porter. J. Buel & the Treasurer in which General P. behaved quite well and urged upon L. the absolute necessity of his permitting the paper to take the course which we all wish it to pusue. Mr L & his hopeful Brother in law Tillinghast furnish every man that visits the office with their views in favor of Mr Clay & against a Congressional Caucus. They think it will be folly & worse than folly to have a caucus unless all the members attend. It is my present opinion that L will not permit any thing to be said in justification of the course which you have or are about to adopt at Washington. Mr Croswell went yesterday to Catskill and will not return till to morrow evening or the next day. He will not have any thing in the next paper relative to your proceedings. I should have written some thing in his absence but I was persuaded ^certain^ that it would not be inserted in the Argus.

I know not what Genl Porter has written to Washington but he talked very much like a democrat here. He assured me that he had written to Mr Clay's friends at W. to go into a caucus by all means and he declared himself dicidedly against the electoral law. He was it is true in favor of Mr Clay but upon old democratic grounds and wished to have him brought forward according to the established asuages of the party and not otherwise.

I am sincerely Yours &c

W. L. Marcy

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