MVB to Smith Thompson, 19 January 1820

MVB to [Smith Thompson], 19 January 1820

Strictly Confidential

My Dear Sir,

The enclosed Letter will explain to you what we wish. The Vice President is apprized that a copy has been sent to you, as you will see. If he has left Washington, you will see the propriety of sending a speedy answer. That answer must be, My Dear Friend, that in the event of the Vice President's insisting, upon it, you will consent to our wishes. In no other event do we urge it. You will see, how well I know you and how strong my opinion of your being above the little prejudices of small men, when I feel it safe to <hold> such language to you. I have written to Mr. King on the subject, because I know that he has already conversed with you and the Vice President in relation to it and because I am fully satisfied of his friendship for you both and because I am sensible that he is best qualified to bring about a state of things which would justify a compliance on your part with our wishes. Show him unreservedly the copy of our Letter (in the same confidence in which it is written) and let me entreat you to be influenced in some degree at least by his advice. I know not what it will be, but I know well, that there is no one better qualified to give it. The Republican Party in this state were never better united: They all love honor & esteem the Vice President; but such is their extreme desire to ensure the prostration of the Junta, who have stolen into the seats of power that they all desire that you should be the candidate. They will support Tompkins to the bat's end if you refuse or he should not decline: but if he does, and you consent to our wishes you will be hailed as the Saviour of New York. There are a thousand considerations pressing upon my mind, all tending to satisfy me of the propriety of your standing the election. You will have no trouble—no expense and need have no anxiety, for no one disputes, but that your nomination alone, will settle the prospects of Mr. Clinton

I never gave you bad, or I think indiscreet advise and under that Conviction I venture to urge my opinion upon you. I will not be misunderstood and it cannot therefore be necessary for me to repeat that you are not requested to do any thing more than to comply with the wishes of the Vice President and your friends. If they are not expressed whatever you say will remain with you, as I repeat, that in the event I have spoken of, your compliance with our wishes will be gratefully remembered by the Republicans of the State, and unquestionably lead to one of the most signal Triumphs we have ever had in this state.

Yours affectionately



Copy letter written to Secy of the


Editorial Process Complete
Editorial Note:

Printed in King, Correspondence, 6:254-255.

Copy written in hand of John Worth Edmonds.

Docket in hand of MVB.