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MVB to A[zariah] C[utting] Flagg, 22 December 1826


My dear Sir,

What I write to you is so far only confidential that you may in your best discretion communicate it to some of our friends as you think necessary. Mr Wright will soon be with you as well as Keyes & Earl. From them & our immediate friends in Albany, Knower Marcy & Croswell you know I have no secrets. The strong impression previously made on the mind of Mr Adams & his Secretary &c &c as to Mr Clintons views have been confirmed by the recent Pamphlet in which you & Croswell are honorably noticed. They now look upon him as an adversary on his own account. Without N york they cannot make battle & to it every eye is directed. To secure so inconsiderable a personage even as myself has been deemed a matter of moment, but I believe they are satisfied that that is out of the question & I am convinced that John or King (who left here this morning) carries instructions to the <liegemen> to visit his <illegible> <before> my election. Under these circumstances they have determined to build up a party in Nyork to be led by Taylor Porter & Young & to be continued and sustained by the Genl. administration. The first step in this scheme is the appointment of Betts which has been made upon the suggestion of Taylor & in conformity to a letter from Young to Clay saying that ^they^ could not sustain themselves without some Republican appointments. The federalists here are guided by Taylor & Webster with assurances that a few Bucktail appointments are necessary & that after the next election Mr. Adams will manifest his support for the Federalists & his gratitude for their support in a suitable & strong manner. I have ample means of knowing <illegible> ^what^ is going on & the inducements for every step of consequence. Depend upon it my dear Sir that there never has existed a Cabinet that conducts the affairs of the Country upon so degrading a scale as the present. Every thing is made to bend to the election, & without any <firm> principle of action or rule of conduct, the support of <every> measure or appointment upon that single subject, is the controlling consideration. If the attempt now making here to please all parties by an equal distribution of favors amongst them succeeds it will certainly be the first time. I am morally certain that the present administration must go down & I firmly believe that such ought to be the case. To say this is my place before the election is with me a great desideration but I will be governed by the advice of my friends.

Immediately after the commencement of the session, you must put your heads together & let me know precisely how the land lays. I would of course do it respectfully & on a subject on which the feelings of the state would be on my side, viz the power of Congress on internal improvements. I approve Mr Croswells course in keeping the party together but feel very solicitous that he should not enable Clinton & his friends to prejudice us abroad by insinuations that we at home are for the administration. No one knows better than himself how this is to be avoided without running counter to his general object. If we are discrete & wise we can play a great part in the coming contest. My <language> here to our friends is that we will support no man who does not come forward on the principles & in the form in which Jefferson & Madison were brought forward & this they will in the end all accept.

I have no time to say more at present. Make my best respects to Mrs. F. Write me often & believe me to very sincerely

Your friend


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Source: NNC Columbia University
Collection: Azariah Cutting Flagg Papers (NNC)
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)