Jo[seph] Gales Jr. to MVB, 26 October 1824
Oct. 26, 1824.
I will endeavor to seal my letters better, though not at all suspicious of the fidelity of the Post Office.
With respect to Mr. Clay & Mr. Adams, if it be necessary to make a selection, I should myself prefer, on further consideration, that a part of the votes of NewYork should be cast to the latter, as the least dangerous candidate of the two.
As to the V. P. Judge Skinner will be written to, probably by the next mail, not by me, but by one who is less nearly connected with the present contest, and will be less likely to be suspected of interested motives by those who do not know us. ^I mean Saml. H. Smith, my quondam partner or magister.^ You know him: he is an honest man, though not practical: is devoted to Mr Crawford, and has ^among men of advanced and middle age^ a certain reputation as a politician, which he acquired by his former absolute devotion to Mr Jefferson. I have had for many years but little intercourse with him, but have entire confidence in his secrecy & probity to any cause he undertakes. Whether he has taken the hint from Mr Crawford in whole formely he is very intimate, or whether a gleam of light has accidentally broke in upon him, so it is, he has confided to me, within two days, his views on things, and he has taken up a determined resolution that your merit & disinterested conduct entitles you to the preference for the Vice Presidency. I suspect that it has all grown out of a conversation between Mr C. & myself which took place in the presence of Mr C's family some ten days ago: but it would shock Mr. S's pride to have it suspected that his views are not original. Be that as it may, having been written to by one of his old acquaintance, who is a Member of the Virga. Central Comee, he has written to him very strongly on this point. He will do the same to Judge S. with whom he has little or no personal acquaintance, on the score of political affinity, ^at my suggestion,^ and I hope as one of the old true blue Jeffersonians, what he writes will have some weight. We have also written to No Ca. I have myself less & less disposition to see Mr Clay elevated to the second place when I see his indefatigable efforts to work into the Ho. of Reps, to get himself, whom he knows not to be the choice of one-tenth of the people, elected to the first place in their gift.
I have no doubt your estimate too truly the frailty of the tenure of men's allegiance to professed principles. But I trust you will be able to hold on. If obliged to give way, I think Mr. A. less dangerous in the Ho. of Reps, and indeed out of it, than the others.
My father & brother have been making great exertions in No Ca. and I hope for
the favorable results. If we succeed there, means have been taken to place before her Electors & her Reps in Congress our views as to the second office. Her Senators, I fear would both be agt us, in the event of the Election going to that body. It is better however, to fall sword in hand, than ignobly to give up the ship.
With the highest respect
Faithfully Your obed sert
Jo: Gales Jr