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MVB to Benjamin Ruggles, 26 August 1824

My dear Sir,

Since Congress adjourned two things have become certain or nearly so. The one that with the votes of Kentucky & Ohio & Missouri Mr Crawfords can certainly be electedion by the People ^would be certain^ & the other that if given to Mr Clay they cannot carry him to the house. If Pensylvania votes for Jackson he must have more States than ^exclude^ Mr Clay & if the ^Mr.^ Crawford ticket should succeed its consequences would be the election ^choice^ of Mr Crawford ^that Gentleman^ by the electors. That she will vote for the one or the other is beyond all reasonable doubt. If the friends of Mr Clay are ever to support Mr Crawford it would be ^best^ more honorable to all that it ^this^ should ^also be done by the electors^ be done before the question comes to the house Situated as things are what is done there must be exposed to ^whatever is done in the house (however pure) will be united with exposed to injurious suspence^ more or less suspicion ^must <illegible> to what is done there.^ To effect ^an early &^ a sincere & honorable co-operation between the friends of Clay & Crawford is therefore a matter of great interest, but whilst the friends of the other candidates are making the greatest exertions to consolidate their strength, we do not avail ourselves of the legitimate means in our power to effect the same object. This remissness is at variance an with our duty. It is true that Mr Clays friends have declared that they would not abandon ^his support^ him, but it is equally true that circumstances have since greatly changed & it ^is^ both just & honorable that their course should conform to them. Then the vote of this state was considered by them as doubtfull now Mr Clays trust worthy friends ^here^ will say if asked that it is no longer so. Then it was not precisely known what Pensylvania might do & either of those States would ^might^ have brought Mr Clay to the house, now it is morally certain that her vote will be for Jackson ^or^ Crawford or Adams. The anticipated results ^state of things therefore which the^ & which was ^hoped for &^ looked to ^by Mr Clays friends^ to justify the course taken by Mr Clays ^their^ friends at the close of the session having not supposed it ^it is now appears will not exist ^^cannot be produced^^^ under Thus circumstanced^ the Republicans of the Union opposed to Messrs. Adams & Jackson have a right to expect something ^much concession^ from those ^the friends of Mr Clays It is worthy consideration whether^ & a failure in this particular ^would not operate^ could not I think fail to act injuriously on Mr Clays ^his^ future prospects. The addition of Mr Clays Supporters in the west to those of Mr Crawford in other States would make a great & powerful party capable of sustaining the interests of the Country agt all opposition & of effecting every other desirable object. Your location makes it most convenient to you to ascertain what can be done in this particular. If you would not ^By^ devoting some time & attention to it you might do much to keep bring together men who ought never to have separated & whose union is natural & I should hope easy to be effected. The asperities of the last winter might & ought to ^must^ be allayed Mr Clays re-election to congress is understood as indicating impressions on the other subject such as ^similar to those^ I have expressed & evinces a willingness to remain in Public Life. Would it not be more agreeable to him to be at the head of the other branch of the Legislature. I had some reason last winter to think ^so^ last winter that it would. ^His election to that place is^ (From the liberal views manifested by Mr Crawford Gallatin) that is ^doubtless I believe^ not practicable.

If we could now know ^with absolute certainty^ that at a proper time there would be an avowed Union between the friends of Crawford & Clay in the Electoral Colleges ^would at a proper time unite^ the necessary previous arrangement could I am persuaded be easily made. to evince the desired result. Will you see the friends of Mr Clay & let me know what we have to expect. It is a source of great satisfaction that our support of Mr Crawford has not hitherto been dishonoured by ^wholly exempt ^^free^^ from^ selfish & ^or^ personal arrangements of any description & that cause we must & will ^be^ pursued unto the end. The measure I speak of is not inconsistent with it; but would on the contrary form a basis for the operation of ^on which to create^ different interests free from the objections which ^always^ exist to ^the^ connecting ^of^ the decision of a public question with private ^&^ to personal Stipulations. I have spent some time in New Jersey & have the fullest confidence that Mr Crawford will get the vote of that State. Mr Adams interest in the east is by no means so stable as it promised to be & I have ^that is^ the strongest ^best^ reasons to believe ^have^ that he ^Mr. Crawford^ will ^in an without the proposed aid^ suceed with the electors. But I have always had & now have the strongest solicitude ^a strong wish^ to bring about an honest friendship and full connexion between the friends of Crawford & Clay. They would constitute a party nearest to ^nearly resembling like^ that of the old Republican Party of the Union & such an one as I would be willing to stand or fall by ^with^ You know that I have always been willing to do every proper thing to effect the great object I have now in view & it must be owing great perverseness or some Strange infatuation if it is not accomplished. All their ^you from whom I have had <illegible> upon this subject could testify if that were necessary to the sincerity of my declarations on this Head. The measure proposed would place ^^strongly <illegible>^^ Mr Clay in the most ^^one^^ favourable attitude before of the Republicans of the union & it would effectually relieve them from much of their^ apprehension on the score of Mr Crawfords health and would I shall think attribute it to some strange infatuation if it is not accomplished

Let me hear from you & believe me to be

Very sincerely your





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