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Edward Livingston to MVB, 6 September 1820

My dear Sir, 

I am much gratified by your letter to an unsuccessful candidate but believing that I understand your character, it does not surprise me.

Although you are a politician, I believe you want the faculty which most of them have, of cutting friends whose popularity seems to be on the wane—but even with this draw back upon your advancement you have qualified yourself by example as well as precept, to preach your favorite doctrine of optimism, and as far as my best wishes go, no future event in your life will cause you to abandon it. In the event you allude to, it may apply to me also, but not in the way that you predict. Private life and professional pursuits are better suited to my disposition and talent if I have any than the struggle of politics. From this time however until December, I shall continue to feel the utmost interest in them, and under the assurance that you give me of the disposition of this state, I feel confirmed in the opinion I had always entertained of our ultimate success, and when ever I have the satisfaction of seeing the affairs of our country placed in the hands to which I have every reason to think they will be confided, I shall cease to have any solicitude on the subject.

Your letter finds me just on the point of departure for Harrisburgh, where I shall be detained a few days. I shall esteem this very unfortunate should you in that interval make your intended visit to this part of the country. I could not help smiling at your invitation to meet you. The place was so well chosen for an aspiring politician, and we should have accepted the appointment on the heights of the towering Cattskill as a favourable omen of your approaching elevation, if my departure for Pensylvania had not prevented it. Mrs Livingston is very grateful for your remembrance, and there are moments when I think she wants the aid of your eloquence to restore her political confidence. Your letter has done much to effect this, but your presence would do more.

I had seen the contradictions of the letter ascribed to you in the Intelligencer, and am happy to learn that no such measure is either intended or necessary. When will the blockheads learn that their forgeries and falsehoods only sink them lower in the public Esteem and injure lessen their little chance of success?

My wife and daughter beg to be remembered to you, and hope that whether before or after my return, you will not omit calling on them should you visit this quarter of the country.

With great esteem

Your friend & humble sv't 

Edward Livingston 

Source: DLC Library of Congress
Collection: MVB Papers (DLC)
Series: Series 3 (17 February 1815-2 December 1821)