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J[ames] A[lexander] H[amilton] to MVB, 13 February 1829

My dear Sir,

After I had written to you yesterday I received a message from Lewis requesting to see me I went over & he in one of the Genls rooms talked much at large with me on the subject of the Cabinet He asked my opinion as to different individuals <illegible> which was as I well know he believed asking your opinion in effect altho not refer in form. I answered his inquires without reserve but did not in any manner authorize the opinion that you had conferred with me ^This reserve^ & so I have informally observed. He requested me before <illegible> we parted to write to you to say that ^the^ Genl I would probably write a letter to you in day or two offering the place and that I should request you to be prepared to make your arrangements to come here as soon as possible after the appt. I supposed this resulted from a computation that had been before made ^by me during the former part of the day^ as to the time it would req that must elapse before you receive intelligence of your appt & get to Albany ^Washington.^ I did not write because I had before done so to you.

To day <S.> called <Wm> White whom he & I <illegible> just <also> <begining> the discussion of the cabinet & The Genl in my presence requested W. to eat a family dinner with him & to ride out with him this afternoon ^to^ which in he assented. I have no doubt that it during that ride the whole matter will be discussed & much decided upon. I believe I may say with confidence that Cheves will be is not now considered but that Ingham is for the Treasury He however too hastily estimates his own powers & will decline that place It will W. be well <illegible> ^he^ should do so & take the war or Navy because in that <Genl.> McLane ^Dela^ would be in the T. & Ohio would remain where he is. Should Ingham decline every department Ohio would be taken into the Cabinet & <W.> probably into the Treasury which would give Calhoun a tremendous influence not only with the West but with the Commercial section of the Country & then Ingham would be P M G & thus that small <illegible> would be also used for his benefit.

The opinion is entertained that you ought not to accept unless you know how the Cabt. is to be formed I think differently The reasoning which applies to the Case of a new Party coming into ^the ministry can^ does not be used here. This is a choice among friends & members of the same party by its chief.

I have had a very satisfactory conversation with Mc Lane & Hamilton the latter is a man without an equal in great parts of worth.

Your <hm> <S>


Tazewell & Baldwin are not considered as I believe

James Alexander Hamilton to MVB, 13 February 1829James Alexander Hamilton to MVB, 13 February 1829James Alexander Hamilton to MVB, 13 February 1829James Alexander Hamilton to MVB, 13 February 1829
Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)