Skip to main content
View PDF

MVB to James A[lexander] Hamilton, 26 January 1825

My dear Hamilton,

I wrote you a long letter the other day but burnt it in consequence of its having been delayed but one day and that short period having worked an almost entire revolution in the State of things here. At present our affairs are situated thus. Clay & his friends have settled down for Adams. This makes for Adams certain the following States,- five in New England Illinois, Ohio & Kentucky. The States on which they calculate & the only ones to which they can lay the least claim are R. Island Nyork Maryland Missouri & Louisiana making the thirteen. They must get every one of them to succeed & they have no pretension to any other. The unexpected & apparently unnatural course taken by Mr Clays friends has produced the strongest possible feelings of resentment. Jacksons friends are of course in arms. The combination is avowedly hostile to Mr. Calhoun & his friends are highly excited. The push on the part of Mr Adams supporters will be to succeed on the first ballot. If they do not there is no such thing as forming a rational conjecture as to after results. I do not believe they will so succeed but their chance is far from desperate. It will depend on slight circumstances how the matter goes after the first ballot. Mr. Crawfords chance ^in the house^ then will then be better than it has been at any previous period. His friends adhere to their determination to abide by him. Even if they wished to support Jackson that would under the circumstances be the most advisable course. I will not say absolutely that it is not possible for Crawfords friends to elect Jackson but I doubt it extremely. It is certain that <illegible> there would be greater probability of success if Jacksons friends were to support Crawford. To that we look. If the question was now between Crawford & Adams and S. Carolina was to decide it, Mr Crawford would succeed. Read this to Campbell. It is for you & him but do not share it further. But you may speak of the facts as you think advisable. I thank you kindly for your offer to come down. I do not see that it can be of any avail. But if you have curiosity to be here why not gratify it. I have had hard work to keep on the ground I suggested to you but have succeeded in doing so & find cause for gratification in having done so. As long as Eddy holds out there is a moral certainty that Adams cannot be elected; but you know how he will stand if Adams gets the 12 States.

Yours Truly

M.V. Buren

Printed in Hamilton, Reminiscences, 62-63.

Images for this document are currently unavailable.
Source: NN New York Public Library
Collection: Martin Van Buren Letters and Documents, 1814-1858 (NN)
Series: Series 5 (1 January 1825-3 March 1829)