MVB to Charles Edward Dudley, 15 December 1821

MVB to Charles E[dward] Dudley, 15 December 1821



My dear Sir,

You will recollect the strong complaints I made to you against Judge Skinner. The caucus which produced them had made so deep an impression on my mind that I had determined at New York to cut all future interocurse with him. On my arrival there my conduct appeared to me to satisfy him that such was my desire. We were however placed in the same room which I endeavored to avoid but found that I could not without stating the reason explicitly &c. During my stay he treated me with so much attention notwithstanding the most rigid reserve on my part, and during my indisposition with so much kindness, that I was obliged in a great degree to alter my conduct towards him; so much so as to give him reason to believe that I would comply with his request to write to him occasionally. But as I have had no adequate reason to change my opinion as to the demerits of his conduct towards me I have not been able to bring my mind to the exercise of such scouring hypocrisy. This places me in a situation extremely unpleasant.

Will you be so good as to make some enquiries into the matter and let me have your honest opinion as to the true character of his conduct and feelings towards me. Possibly the matter may have been much exaggerated to me. To differ with me as to particular points was his right and the free and unreserved expression of that difference was necessary and incident to the enjoyment of that right. Of such a course ^I hope^ therefore I would always be too just if not too liberal to complain. But the impeachment of my motives by attributing my conduct to personal and sinister considerations, and the accompanying his remarks upon my course with suggestions as to the course of things last Winter not only of a very unfriendly character but both unjust and untrue, are different matters. In these particulars I fear the Judge has erred too far to render it proper for me (consistent with that frankness and sincerity which I hope shall always characterise my conduct) to treat him as I have heretofore done. Show this to my friend Mr Knower, and write me what you and he think of the matter. Tell Mr Olcott that the Genl. Jessup is out of town, and that the moment he arrives I will see him as I wish to speak to him first before I see the Secretary of War. Present my best respects to Mrs D., Miss Sarah, and Mrs Brinkerhooff and her family. My health is daily inproving and I am well satisfied with matters and things in general here.

Yours very sincerely

M. V. Buren.

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