B[enjamin] Ruggles to MVB, 31 July 1824
July 31st. 1824
Since my return home I have endeavored to ascertain public sentiment in this State on the Presidential question. A majority of the people are in favor of Mr Clay. This ticket will succeed, and will be supported by the friends of Mr Crawford. We have also a Jackson and an Adams ticket—but they must both fail. Three-fourths of Mr Clays friends, if they cannot elect him, would prefer Mr Crawford as their second choice. Many of the Jacksonians and Adamites, if they fail in the success of their favorites would next prefer Mr Crawford. Edwards attack upon Mr Crawford has worked miracles in his favor.
If after the election of electors is over, and it is distinctly ascertained that Mr Clay cannot be brought into the house, and he will decline, I have no doubt but the electors will vote for Mr Crawford; that is, if the Clay ticket succeeds. My opinion is that Kentucky would Do the same.
Mr Clay has it in his power to save the democratic party, provided he does not push his own pretensions too far. His friends here still calculate upon the vote of New York. Will he receive it? If not—Will not his friends in your state undeceive him and his supporters by stating the fact? Our Adams men also claim New york. We are looking to the proceedings of your State with anxiety.
I have received several letters from the Atlantic States. Mr Crawfords prospects are, represented as flattering. According to Gen. Smith's calculation, Kentucky and Ohio can elect Mr Crawford. We shall do what we can, but nothing I fear can be done, without the good understanding and agency of Mr Clay. His friends in your State, can do much, and I hope they will not be inactive.
I wish you would communicate to me the result of the electoral election in your State, and of New England as soon as received.
I have received and read the Argus. It is conducted prudently, and with talent. You may direct the Editor to send the paper to me, my neigbr Mr Wells, had subscribed before my return home.
This letter must be confidential. Please to let me hear from you.