MVB to Charles Edward Dudley, 26 March 1824
MVB to Charles E[dward] Dudley, 26 March 1824
March 26th 1824
My dear Sir,
I understand by letters from several of our friends that a serious diversity of opinion exists amongst you at Albany on the subject of the propriety of an expression of opinion on the Presidential question. The objections to that course are certainly not without weight and if our freinds at Albany are seriously impressed with a conviction that their doing so would endanger our State elections they will ^be fully^ justified in declining it. I take the liberty of suggesting a few of the reasons which incline me to a different opinion, Of the extreme importance of such a measure in regard to the Presidential election it cannot be necessary to speak. Its advantages are obvious. A great proportion of the freinds of Mr Adams who though from their local situation they feel yet indisposed to give him up (espicially as they every day assured, that New York will yet vote for Adams) enquire anxiously on this subject. It is evident that those of them who prefer their party to the man would be well pleased to be able to say to their constituents that there are no longer any hopes of electing Mr Adams and that therefore he ought to be given up. The opinion has been very generally indulged in and freely expressed heretofore that all would depend on New York. That impression forms a part of the general opinion on the subject and an explicit avowal of the preference of New York could not fail to secure all who look to the inevitable result for the govermnent of their course. It is unfortunately true that our course has been so variable that there is greater difficulty in establishing confidence in what we will do than exists on the part of other states. The moment our Legislature rises they will prove in a thousand nays that New York will not vote for Crawford and the circumstance of no nomination having been made will be relied on as a conformation of their statements. Whilst on the other hand a nomination will put all that at rest and will assuredly put New York at the head of the Republican confederacy. But will the measure injure our state elections I may be wrong but I think it will not. Our success with Gov Yates must depend on the stength of the caucus system. It is our sheet anchor and will hold be the fury of the Storm as high as it may A conformation of the nomination at Washington forms a part of the system, and its omission may be construed into hesitation on the subject and the least relaxation in a system like this is of dangerous tendency. If done you will fairly put before the people the whole case and every honest democrat will see the dependence of one point upon the other and be sensible of the necessity of supporting the whole to save a part. If you nominate you will close the door upon all differences of opinion among those who are
secrettly ^honestly^ attached to the party and the question will be certainly ^exclusively^ between you and the opposition who will oppose you in all things and your friends will in that event support you in all things. If you leave the door open you will invite a continuance of the differences of opinion among your friends on the question of the Presidency and that will more or less distract them in the State elections. It will lead to combinations in the support of members of Congress and Assembly &c, with a view to promote the other object. The great assault which will be made upon you will be on the score of the electoral law If the question as to what you have done ^mean to do^ is left open greater inducements will be held out to the adversary to press that point and your seeming hesitation may weaken the confidence of your friends and stengthen their own the arm of your antagonist. It is always wisest when a measure is resolved upon which calls forth strong opposition to go through with it manfully and firmly. All experience ^proves^ that nothing has ever succeeded so well with the Republicans of New York a a course of that character. It is of great moment to cut off all Connexion between the people of other States and our local elections this year. That can only and will effectually be done by the measure we speak off. As long as the freinds of the other candidates think there are hopes of their getting the vote of New York their thousand presses will be at you and opinions thus expressed very often have great weight. Our population is composed of emigrants from most of the states and persons frequently place much reliance on what is thought and said at the place from whence they came. If they become satisfied that there is no doubt of New York your elections will be left to yourselves and you will have no difficulty in managing them. I have no doubt that the manifestation of your determination at Albany would be followed here by an expression of increased stength and if the two together should as I think they would settle the result of the Presidential Election months before your elections come as it would releive you from a great portion of the opposition you will have to contend with. Rhode Island is perfectly safe. Connecticut t meets in May and New Hampshire in June. An opportunity will be presented to them to manifest a disposition that will render it necessary for Mr Adams to withdraw. Ohio is improving very fast and nothing would influence her more than an expression from ^by^ New York. There are two electoral tickets nominated in that State, one will be supported by the freinds of Crawford and Clay both and they will vote as they think right and one by the friends of Adams. The supports of Mr Clay must in the end and perhaps soon come out for Mr Crawford. Any thing which serves to stenghten Mr Crawford's prospects and expedites that result. A great change has taken place in the feelings of the two parties and nothing but unforseen accident can prevent their entire amalgamation as soon as circumstances render it expedient. The Jackson fever does not spread. In Ohio there is no danger from him but in Kentucky a little, if Mr Clay is withdrawn and perhaps in that event also Missouria Indiana and Illinois, South Carolina is coming out strong for Crawford In the upper country they are divided ^between^ Crawford and Jackson and in the lower between Crawford and Adams. There is but little doubt that South Carolina goes with us. New Jersey is confessedly improving. Our bitterest opponents admit that Crawford is gaining there very fast. She would at once fall in with New York, and Pensylvania would be left to repent of her frenzy at her leisure. But after all you at Albany must pursue the course you think best. You have shown too much foresight prudence and firmness in what is past to need advice from us and notwithstanding our anxiety whatever you do we will cheerfully submit to. Will you have the goodness to apologise to the Atty Gen. for my ^not^ answering his queries and show him this letter by way of an answer to him Do the same to Gen Root and such of our friends as you think proper and as are willing to decipher this scratch which in haste I am obliged to send you. I would prefer not to be named in speaking of the probable future co-operation between the friends of Clay and Crawford. Make my best respects to the ladies and believe me to be
Sincerely Your Freind
Copy in unknown hand.