MVB to William Peter Van Ness, 23 August 1803

MVB to W[illiam] P[eter] V[an] Ness, 23 August 1803


Dr. Sir

         I have this moment received yours of the 20th Inst. with mixed emotions of Pleasure and Pain, the former produced by the birth & safe delivery of your daughter, the later by the Illness of your very estimable lady. I do most sincerely hope that she may soon ^recover^ that health and Comfort which she is so richly entitled to.

         Agreeable to your wishes I embraced the earliest opportunity to shew to Corns. that part of your letter intended for him. It would be impossible for me to tell you what he said, as I could get no definitive answer from him. He appeared very much embarrassed at first and evinced a great reluctance to talk upon the subject, I did not however neglect to impress fully upon him the pernicious Consequences which must inevitably result from his Conduct as well to you as to your friends and I flattered myself that he would say no more upon the subject, at least not in that unbridled manner which he was want to do, but my expectations upon this head were soon found to be vain and delusive. John C. Hogeboom called upon me 2 or 3 days since & in the Course of our Conversation he spoke of Cornelius, he asked told me that he had called at his house and that in talking upon the Subject of Mr. Burr Corns. had said that he (John C.) did not know as much of the matter as he from his Intimacy with Mr. Burr’s friends had an oppertunity of Knowing and that there was no doubt but that Mr. Burr had intrigued as charged against him. Mr. H. enquired of me the reasons which actuated Corns. in speaking as he did. You will at once perceive that from the Circumstance of his living with you & this apparent Intimacy with some of Mr. Burrs friends those assertions must have a tendency to pass for more than they merited and also strongly to Coroborate the assertions of Cheetham. Viewing the matter in this light, and thus applied to after but a moments reflection I told Mr. Hogeboom that if Mr. Burr had really offended I had no wish to screen him, but that but one side of the question had but ^as yet^ yet been heard, that I thought it but Just that the public opinion should at least be suspended upon the fate of a man who by his own personal exertions had contributed in the most eminent degree to the success of the Republican Cause & whose Conduct hitherto had been highly honourable, untill a fair and liberal opportunity had been given for his defence. As to Declaration of Corns. I felt myself under the necdisagreeable Necessity of telling him that Corns. had never had that Confidence of Mr. Burr's friends which he pretended to, that he considered that, the popular side in this Country, that and above all that he was displeased with you & that it was in this way that he meant to vex & displease you. Mr. H. appeared satisfyed with my Explanation, and I flatter myself that my Conduct under those imperious Circustances will meet your approbation.

         I lent my file of Expenses to Col. Vosburgh &c. & have promised them to him ^& others^ in Continuance he spoke to me in severe terms of disaprobation of the Conduct of Cheetham &c. My object in doing this was that the Information upon the subject should be impartial & general so that the Public Judgment might be Just & Correct.

         Your kind solicitude for my Welfare will be gratefully remembered by me, I trust that neither the malevolence of Faction nor the foul and obnoxious slanders of Calumniatons will ever prevent me from seeing and respecting real virtue and merit. I am extremely sorry that your present Circumstances render you it impossible for you to leave Newyork. Our accounts of the fever are truly that it is much spread & more mortal than ever, it is even said that no medical ^aid^ can scarcely be procured as many of the Physicians have died, and it is even said that it is the Plague, much allowance ought however to be made for the general disposition which of the people to exagerate, I hope you will leave it as as soon as Mrs. Van Ness is competent. Is this not a duty you owe to your family your friends and yourself?

         When do you calculate to visit Washington, will not your Brother come up, & do you not still intend to come here first

         My Brother James will accompany me to Newyork on the 1st. November, perhaps I may come sooner. Young Deming whom we talked about, professes to be a Republican, and we are credibly informed he always ^was^ such in Connecticut and that he was much persecuted on that account, he has Certificates I am told but have not yet seen them.

         Your Brother wishes in Law wishes you to send the money by the mail in such sums as you think advisable & he will risk its safety. ^He has promised to pay it on monday. $200 at a time I suppose will be best.^

         When time will permit I hope you will write me & thereby confer upon me much pleasure.

Your Friends are all well, excuse the imperfection in this,

I am in haste yours

most Sincerely, my best

respects to Mrs. V. N.

Martin Van Buren

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