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MVB to [James Alexander] Hamilton, 20 December 1826

My dear Sir,

I return you B.’ letter. His feelings are evidently agt us & nothing but the fear of being regarded as a deserter will keep him on the right side. The only way of effecting that in my judgment is, to speak of his going over as a probable event, attributable to the insincerity of his conversion. Unless restricted by you I will in a few days hold that sort of talk to VerPlanck to whom by wright he must look for his safety. My conversation will of course be such as to exclude suspicion of what ought not to be known. You will before this have heard of B. is wright in one thing. There is not the least doubt that everything Noah says agt. Adams does him great good with our Country Republicans who look upon Noah literally with abhorrence. Is there not spirit enough in the Democratic party of the great City of New York to establish a press in which honest men can confide. Betts is nominated for Judge. The Federalists struggled hard to prevent it but have been quieted by the assurance that it was necessary to give a few appointments to the Bucktails as they call us to divide them and thus enable the same sort of co-alition which succeeded in 1826 to triumph in 1828. Taylor has been chief manager in the business. That is certain. Mr. Sanford to my knowledge was not advised with or of the matter. Judge Betts had you know an avenue of direct approach to the President through DeWitt <&> wife But the leading motive is to enable Young & Porter to make a party out of the Democratic interest in the State. If you had any other paper than Noahs you could make much of this huckstering shuffling course but the less said about it there the better. I have not at present the least doubt of my election. My accounts warrant that belief. The administration here will be cautious how they meddle. It seems they are determined not to give me up. For the last two days the report of the day has been that the office of Secty of state was to be offered to me & Mr. Clay to run for the Vice Presidency, &c &c. There is no doubt that the folks here would do any thing now that was desired of them but it is out of the question. They have nothing in their gift that I would hesitate a moment in refusing but this language you know it would not do to hold publicly. My time has come. Write me often and frankly. Make my best respects to Mrs. H. She is as sagacious as she is good. None but such a woman could have <found> such a husband.

Truly yours


Printed in Hamilton, Reminiscences, 63.

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Source: NN New York Public Library
Collection: Martin Van Buren Letters and Documents, 1814-1858 (NN)
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)