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MVB to John Van Buren, 19 January 1826

My dear Son,

I am as you supposed somewhat surprised to hear that you went direct to Greenbush. I wrote you advising you to go to Kinderhook & to visit Albany from thence. I know the kindness which induces Mr & Mrs. Duer to wish to have you at their house, & approve your taste for <being> pleased with the good society you meet there, but I fear your Kinderhook friends will think themselves neglected as I think they well may. You know the pain it give me express dissatisfaction with your conduct, but I would do injustice to both, were I not to say that the account you give me of your expenditures is far from satisfactory.

You say you have spent $150 in six weeks, & instead of giving me an account of it, or even speaking of its absolute necessity, you tell me of the expenditure of other boys, & the declarations of <Fr Buckner> as to how much he had spent. You have nothing to do with the expenses of other Boys. When I proposed to make you the depository of your friends I did so, (you know) agt. the opinion & advice of others. My wish was to excite your ambition to show that you were free from the weakness of other boys in this respect, & more deserving of confidence than they too often are. I endeavored to impress you sensibly on this point, and assured you solemnly, that at the moment I had reason to apprehend that my confidence was not safely placed, I would withdraw it. I will not judge you definitively until I hear you, but if the amount you gave me of your disbursements is not such as it should be, I shall assuredly, promptly, & peremptorily change my course, & leave it to Mr Croswell to advance you from time to time what money you may want. Let me therefore hear from you directly upon this subject.

I sincerely hope you will be able to explain to me this matter fully as I shall be anxious until you do so.

The money is the least, by far the least, of my concerns.

Make my most affectionate regards to Mr & Mrs Duer & all the children

Your affectionate father


Martin Van Buren


Jany. 19th. 1826

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)