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MVB to [Andrew] Jackson, 20 February 1829


Your favour of the 15th Inst offering ^proposing to assign to^ me the Department of State in the administration about to be formed under your auspices, was recd yesterday. With an expression of my gratitude for the favourable opinion you have formed of me, & the very flattering manner in which you have ^<illegible> to^ expressed it, I ^have to day^ inform you that I cheerfully I accept the ^your^ invitation you ^with^ pleasure ^no other hesitation except such as is derived from a distrust of an my fitness for the high station to which you have been pleased to call me.^ Allow me to assure you that the hope of being able ^to assist you^ in some small degree, to realize the expectations of a people, who, under the most trying circumstances have evinced a degree of patriotism & fidelity that would ^have^ done honor to the proudest days of the Republic, induces me to quit with satisfaction my the elevated & truly honorable station confered upon me by the people of my immediate constituents, and that the confirmation of this hope will be to me a subject of the highest possible gratification. Associated as I shall doubtless be ^in the administration ^^your Cabinet^^^ with so great a portion of the intelligence & virtue of the Country & with the <zealous> ^having constantly & only in view the^ success of your administration, as our sole & undivided object, I cannot doubt of our ability to fulfil the <illegible> public expectation. My movements in regard to my repairing to the seat of government will be entirely controuled by my new duties, and subjected to no farther delay than is strictly unavoidable. Of that character will be the necessity of waiting on ^information of^ the confirmation of my appointment by the Senate. A few moments reflection my dear Sir <that> will satisfy you that however, desirable ^& agreeable^ it might be, that I should be with you sooner, a different course would be subject to insurmountable objections. Although I am satisfied that the great body of my leading friends in this State, look to the result that is about to take place, as probable & will be prepared to approve it, there are thousands and tens of thousands who have never bestowed a thought upon the subject. To ^With^ such particularly, & indeed in a greater or less degree with all, ^the fact of^ my leaving ^so soon^ the station to which I have been raised by their favour, in the midst of a busy & very interesting session of the Legislature, cannot fail to create a strong sensation, The step therefore to be successful, must be taken ^unless done it be done^ with the utmost propriety. To go off without communicating with the Legislature, & leave the Govermt to devolve silently, in the first instance, upon the Lieut. Govr. would not do. The first ^direct^ notice that they ^my constituents^ are to have of my intention to quit the government should be an address to the Legislature both resigning my office, and assigning my reasons for the doing so. In the discharge of that duty (which I am satisfied public opinion will require of me), it is due to the Senate of the U. States that I should <remove> my appointment avoid the presumption of taking the confirmation of my nomination for granted. Independently of the unpleasant reflections that an opposite course would give rise to, in relation to me personally, & by which my future usefulness might be impaired, it is scarcely to be doubted that the appetites of your enemies for detraction would be in no small degree re-excited, & that we should ^be charged^ <illegible> through their presses with imputations of ^with^ a disregard ^disrespect towards of the constitutional powers^^<illegible> power^^^ of & a desire to <supercede> of the ^an^ other departments of the Government & &. Hoping that my views upon this subject (upon which I have not time to indulge)farther ^thus hastily expressed^ will be satisfactory, I have only to add that the shortest possible ^no^ time ^will be lost^ after the receipt of my appoint. The resignation & delivering over of what belongs to the office &c will of course take a day or two & I may want a very few days to <illegible> <it> <illegible> &. not to exceed a week in all as I shall leave the ^final^ arrangement of my ^domestic^ affairs for a period when it can be done under circumstances more consistent with the public service. My friend & aid Col. Hamilton of this State is now with you & will take the trouble to ascertain as far as that can properly be done how long a time may without prejudice to the business of the office be allowed to me to pack up & upon confering with you will communicate to me the result. If you upon reflection Accept Sir the assurance of my great respect & kindest regard.

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