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A[sbury] Dickins to MVB, 28 October 1824

My dear Sir,

Your letter of the 18th. inst, to our mutual friend, was received a few days ago. As I understand from Mr. Gates that he had written to you fully upon both the subjects to which it relates, I deferred writing to you until now that I might give you the very latest information respecting the state of Mr. Crawford's health.

If we did not know that our adversaries have now no resource but falsehood, we might well wonder at the monstrous untruths which are industriously circulated by them on this subject. You were, doubtless, prepared to expect them. But, even you, could scarcely have supposed, amidst all the various reports that have been abroad, that Mr. Crawford, so far from having had any relapse, has been constantly though gradually improving, and, that, so far not only have no unfavorable symptoms been manifested in his case, but that so great has been his recent improvement that it is impossible for any one who sees him to doubt of the speedy restoration of his perfect health and strength.

For some time & after, Mr. Crawford has attended to all his duties as Secretary of the Treasury. He transacts business every alternate day at his office and at his house. He receives every one who has occasion to see him. He displays in conversation his usual frankness, and vigour and vivacity. His good humour continues unabated; and although he goes to no parties he makes sociable visits to his friends and neighbours.

In regard to the powers ^faculties^ of his mind, against which as well as against his health, these lies have been propagated, my situation near him, and the nature and frequency of the intercourse which I have had with him for so many years, and during the whole of illness, enable, me to pronounce with confidence; and I do not hesitate to assert that his in clearness and energy of intellect, he is, at this day, as eminent as he ever was.

We shall look with great solicitude for the result of the proceedings at Albany. Our hope, and our confident expectation is, that Mr. Crawford will obtain the entire vote of the State. But, we rely with ^such^ implicit faith upon our friends in that quarter, as to feel perfectly assured, that every thing that is practicable will be accomplished.

As to the apprehensions that have been entertained of the necessity of compromising for a portion of the votes, I trust it will be found that they have originated rather in solicitude ^anxiety^ for success, than in circumstances which talent and zeal could not controul. It is so manifestly the interest of the friends of Mr. Adams and Mr. Clay, to prevent either from obtaining ^even^ a single vote, that I hope they will both acquiesce in Mr. Crawford's obtaing all the votes.

According to the best estimate that I can make, the comparative strength of all the candidates for the presidency may be stated thus;

Crawford—   Jackson—   Adams—   Clay  
Maine— 3. N. Jersey— 5. Maine— 6. Kentucky 14.
Con:— 2. Penna— 28. Mass:— 15. Illinois— 1.
R. Island— 4. Maryland— 7. NHamp.— 8. Missouri— 3.
N.York— 36. So. Cara.— 11. Vermont— 7. Ohio— 16
N. Jersey— 3. Tennessee— 11. Connect— 6. Louisa. 5
Del.— 3. Mississ— 3. Maryland 1. Inda— 5
Maryland— 3.   65. Illinois— 1.   44.
Virginia— 24.       44.    
No. Carolina— 15.            
Geo.— 9.            
Illinois— 1.            


probably for

Mr. C—


I believe that this estimate will be found substantially correct; and, if so, for either Mr. A's or Gen. J's friends to permit the other to receive any portion of the votes of N.York would be to exclude their own candidate from the House of Representatives. Even a combination between them to divide the vote of the state equally, to the exclusion of NewYork ^Mr. C.^ if they had the power to effect it, would scarcely be of any advantage to them: because even then Mr. C. and Gen. J's vote would be higher than theirs. In NewYork, the real contest and the only contest, it seems to me, should be that between the friends of Clay and Adams, to prevent either from obtaining a vote, as that would exclude the other from the House. These are my speculations. You, who are on the spot, and who know the whole ground, will already have entertained the same views if they are well founded in fact.

In regard to the Vice Presidency, whatever may be the delicacy of the subject, under the present circumstances. As far as my personal feelings, you ca are concerned, you can be at no loss to know what would be my wishes. Nothing would gratify me more than their accomplishment. Apart from all public considerations, nothing would be more grateful to my private friendship. But, can these wishes be accomplished? Can we, at this late hour, hope to succeed in electing any other Vice President than Mr. Clay? And ought we to rifle the attempt?

The conviction of my own mind from general reasoning is that the Vice Presidency would be acceptable to Mr. Clay, and this is confirmed by the opinion of one of Mr. his highest friends, who, last summer, expressed to Mr a friend of Mr. Crawford, the opinion that Mr. Gallatin should withdraw, and that Mr. Clay should be nominated in his place: and who in answer to the doubt of Mr. C's acceptance replied that it should be done without consulting him, and that he ought not, could not and would not decline it. This gentleman I have reason to believe was Mr. Chevas.

But, the question is in the hands of you gentleman at Albany. Whatever is done there, will be followed by our friends every where. And, nothing could be more welcome to me than to find in the person of my friend (if he will allow me to call him so) the candidate of my party.

ever and sincerely your's

A. Dickins.

Asbury Dickins to MVB, 28 October 1824Asbury Dickins to MVB, 28 October 1824Asbury Dickins to MVB, 28 October 1824Asbury Dickins to MVB, 28 October 1824
Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 4 (3 December 1821-31 December 1824)