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MVB to R[oger] B[rooke] Taney, [c15 November 1833]

My dear sir

I have great pleasure in sending this my friend Mr Butler, who goes to Washington to join the Cabinet in obedience to the kind wishes of the President, & as I was happy to learn with your concurrence. As I know how large a share my personal wishes have had in influencing Mr. Butler, to remove a conclusion he had heretofore come to in regard to taking office, I am very anxious that his stay amongst you should be rendered as agreeable to him as possible. ^To^ this I know it will give you pleasure to contribute all in your power. I know that you will like him right well in all respects. Allow me to make two suggestions to you. In your able expose you place great & just reliance <that> ^upon^ the conduct of the bank in curtailing its accommodations &, with a view to a pressure upon the money market after the appointment of the agent; & the President in his message glances at the same thing. Remember that in the communication from Boston, (which may be published,) a ^certain^ period was fixed for the removal, which was before any of these acts on the part of the Bank. The object of my suggestion, is, that what is said upon this point, may be so worded as to provide, as far as possible, for th[e] contingency to which I allude viz the publication of the first communication—as by saying that the desire of the President before entertained for an early removal was rendered imperative by this conduct of the Bank or some thing like that. The other is this. The object of the nullifiers is agitation—without that they could not exist for an hour. From their location, the point most favourable for their object is State rights, or what they <became> to call State rights. Hence their policy is to compel the President to exert to the full all the vigour there is in the Federal arms, that they may be enabled to charge him with a desire to encrease it, & abridge that of the State; and thus play with success upon the peculiar feelings of the South. I would be the last person to advise to the omission of any act, or recommendation which is absolutely necessary to the maintenance of the Federal Goverment in its just authority, but I am at the same time anxious, that those acts & recommendations should be limited by that necessity, & that all high toned positions should be avoided, as far as practicable. Their old stories have become stale, & unprofitable, & we will, I trust, be too wise to give them fresh hobbies. I have communicated my views upon this point to the President & am happy to think that he concurs in them very fully.

Remember me kindly to your family, & believe me to be

Very truly yours


Printed versions appear in "Letters of Francis Scott Key to Roger Brooke Taney, and Other Correspondence," Maryland Historical Magazine 5 (March 1910): 32-33; and "Taney Letters," Maryland Historical Magazine 13 (June 1918): 168-169.

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Source: MdHi Maryland Historical Society
Collection: Taney Papers (MdHi)
Series: Series 7 (4 March 1833-3 March 1837)