« VorigeDoorgaan »
trated, excepting in certain portions of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and a small portion of East Tennessee. Should the result of the approaching election prove, that no cost, management, or combination can withstand a free and manly discussion, it will give the greatest confidence in the permanency of our system. It is a trial of the real character of our people and institutions; and, the example, whatever it may be, cannot fail to have great effects on all future elections.
We look with solicitude to your state. One of our disiderata at present, is to see New York restored, under her new Constitution, to a sound political condition, and to take her proper stand in the Union. We want her weight to sustain the present sound system of measures.
I wrote you some time since in answer to yours, shortly after your return to New York. I hope that you have received my answer.
I am here celebrating Mir Van Deventer's nuptials. happy in uniting himself with a very fine intelligent woman. ure from the city to-day.
He has been very We take our depart
Our friends in New York are the best judges of the time for making the move to which you refer. As to the man there can be no doubt. He possesses advantages above all others, and is the best man on whom the Republicans of your state can rally. I have written to Judge Edwards fully on the subject, who has not, I think estimated, the Judge as highly as he ought. I hope what I have said will induce him to think as highly as we all do of the excellent individual in question. To bring this about you may contribute; & I hope will, for it is indispensible that we should all think alike on great points.
No more ought to be made without Judge Thompson's assent, and it is highly disirable, that the Vice President should heartily acquiesce in it. He is still a favorite with a large portion of the Republican party of your state.
He will not,
I take it for granted, think of departing from the 8 years rule, even as applied to the Vice Prest; but I am decidedly of opinion, that the government, or administration ought to make after the experation of his term, such arrangement as would be agreeable to him.
We are going on well every where. The ancient allies of Virginia will seperate themselves from her, if she puts herself under the Richmond party. I consider North Carolina as already lost to her side. The truth is that the plain and obvious course for the State is to support the present administration with zeal, as standing on those great principles of the Republican party, which brought the state to power. To attempt to seperate the present from Mr Jefferson's admin. will prove ruinous to the influence of the State.
This will be delivered to you by Mr. McDuffie who will converse freely with you on all points.
S. L. GOUVERNeur, Esq.
With sincere regard
I am &c. &c.
J. C. CALHOUN,
[Addressed:] Confidential. S. L. Gouverneur Esq New York. Mr McDuffie, [Endorsed:] J. C. Calhoun to S. L. G. 1823.
9th Nov. 1823
MY DEAR SIR,
Great is your victory;* and we and the nation have cause to triumph. If I have a faculty for anything, it is to know and estimate the nature of political junctures; and, since I have been in publick life, I have seen one only greater than the present; I mean that, which terminated in the late war. There the real issue was national independence. The virtue and energy of the people triumphed in that great issue, under a complication of difficulties, which can rearly occur again. Here the issue is different but not much less important. Can a combination of powerful individuals, by securing many of the long established and influential presses, bring into disrepute an administration, which has acted wisely and virtuously, but which has only relied on the people for support? This is the point now in trial; and it is one of the deepest moment. On its determination depends the fact, whether our government can be administered in reference to principles and policy, or whether it will not be necessary for it, to throw itself into the hands of those, who by any means, may obtain what is a control over leading presses, and what is called party machinery. Your city has lead in this great contest, and has done nobly; continue your exertions and the triumph of the country is certain. It was in the state of New York, the enemy expected to find materials for his triumph, and to that point he had directed mainly his attention. He found indeed suitable instruments, but he has, I trusted, under estimated the virtue and intelligence of your people. Prostrate him effectually there, and the work will be finished every where. Between the Regency at Albany and the junto at Richmond there is a vital connection. They gave and received hope from each other, and confidently expected 'to govern this nation. What you have done will be felt as much at Richmond as Albany.
Give me all of the details.
I will be glad to hear every thing.
I trust you will be in the city this winter. Your presence will be important. The last contest will be here.
With sincere regard
I am &c &c.
J. C. CALHOUN.
S. L. GOUVERNEUR, Esq.
[Addressed:] Sam!. L. Gouverneur Esq', New York.
[Endorsed:] J. C. Calhoun to S. L. G. 1823.
* The election of 3 November, 1823, had resulted in a victory for the People's Party, opposed to
W. H. Crawford, to Van Buren and the Albany Regency, and to the congressional caucus.
MY DEAR SIR,
25th March 1825
Not long since I received a letter from General Swift, stating that a vacancy would probably soon occur in the Post Office in your city, and suggesting your name as a successor to the present incumbent. I saw the Postmaster Gen1. on the subject, and learning that he had also been written to in relation to it, I had some conversation with him on it. He informed me, that anticipating a vacancy and not adverting to you, he had corresponded on the subject of filling it with a gentleman in New York and that he felt himself committed, which he regretted as no one would be more agreeable to him than yourself, if he had supposed it would be acceptable to you. Judge Kent is the person to whom he referred. Should he accept, nothing can be done; but should he not, I have no doubt, if you desire it, that you may receive the appointment. I, however confess, that I would be sorry to see you in it. I think your true course is in another direction. I speak freely and without flattery, when I say, that your prospect is too good for the office. A higher destiny, I think, awaits you. I know no man of your age in your great state, who has started more fairly than yourself, or who has a fairer prospect. I think duty, honor and interest lead in the direction in which you have started; and I should, as a friend deeply regret to see you in an office, which would so completely change your destiny. If I do not mistake your State is going through a great change very salutary to itself and the Union. Better men will gain the ascendency; and, I hope, that you will not place yourself without the current of rising
I am gratified, greatly so, that your state has districted for the choice of electors. It compensates for many of the adverse events of the times. I see in it a certain prospect of amending the Constitution of the Union, if proper efforts be used. I trust your state will follow up what has been done; and that at the next session of your Legislature suitable resolutions will be passed on this great subject. Let two principles be solemnly affirmed, that the Constitution be so amended as to give the choice direct to the people voting by districts and without the intervention of electors; and that if there be no choice on the first trial, that the election be again referred back to the people to choose from the two highest candidates. I trust, that you will again be elected to Legislature, and that you will take a lead. in this great reform. I deem it essential to the preservation of our liberty. Without it, we must fall into the hands of political traders. The scene of last winter will be repeated till the people will become disgusted with nominal liberty. We will set out in three or four days. My address will be Pendleton So. Carolina where I will be happy to hear from you as often as convenient. With sincere regard
S. L. GOUVERNEUR Esq.
[Endorsed:] 1825 J. C. Calhoun.
I am &c &c.
MY DEAR SIR,
10th June 1825
I have read with much interest your letter of the 1st May, and I concur with you in almost every particular in the views, which you have taken of your State politicks. I trust, however, that you will not think of retiring at your next election. I should consider such a determination as unfortunate both on your account, and the State. The reformation of New York, which I deem so important to the Union, must be the work of young men. The more advanced in age have been so corrupted, under the former order of things, that I expect no good from them. Among the young, I know of no one better calculated to lead in giving a new character to the State, than yourself. It is the sphere for you; and one in which you will not only acquire an elevated standing in the state, but will have the conscious satisfaction of having acted an useful part. I deeply appreciate the motives, which impel in a different direction; but I do trust our venerable and excellent friend will be able to pass through his difficulties with the rising prosperity of the country towards which he has so largely contributed by his enlightened administration. With the present prosperous condition of the country I trust that a correspondent rise in real estates will follow, and that he may be enabled to bring such portions of his estate into market at a fair price, as will free him from difficulty, after Congress has rendered to him, what is strictly due to him. At all events, I trust, that you will not find a continuance of your Legislative career as incompatiable with that degree of attention to your private affairs, which under any circumstances may be necessary. In a political point of view, I do believe, that now is your time, both for the state and nation. Among other things, I do trust, that your state will not rest satisfied with giving to the people of New York, that control, which they ought to have in the choice of a President; but that your Legislature will follow up the subject and by new resolutions be felt on this great subject over the whole Union. She is now on this point placed in a situation, in which her interest and duty strictly coincide. I do firmly believe, that an amendment of the Constitution, as to the mode of choosing the President, is indispensible. The present mode will end in deep corruption. Let the people have the power directly; let the votes be by districts; and, if there be no choice, let the two highest candidates be sent back to the people, and all will be well. To effect this great object your Legislature can do much, if put in action; and I know of no one better calculated to put it in action, than yourself, who so well understands the present dangerous defects.
I have met with a hearty welcome every where on my return, which has gratified me, not as a matter for vanity, but as affording evidence of the popularity of the principles which have governed me in publick life. A few days since business took me to Augusta, where, contrary to my expectations, I was no less kindly received, than on this side of the river. I find a strong disposition to support the measures of the administration so long as it acts on the policy of Mr Monroe's; but, if I am not mistaken, Mr. Adams will find at the next election that the people have too much sense to confirm the dangerous precedent, which he and Mr. Clay have created. I find not one who does not consider the example as dangerous; or who will be willing to see it confirmed by the people by electing Mr Adams.
I will return to Pendleton in a few days where I will be stationary through the summer and be happy to hear from you. With sincere respect
SAM L. GOUVERNEUR.
[Endorsed:] J. C. Calhoun to S. L. G. 1825.
I am &c &c.
J. C. CALHOUN,
MY DEAR SIR,
2d Jany. 1828
On my arrival here I found your letter of the 30th Nov. on my table, which I have not been able to acknowledge till now from the multiplicity of my engageYou do no more than justice to my friendship in anticipating the pleasure, which your appointment would afford me. Few occurrences of late have given me so much gratification. Under all of the circumstances it does much credit to the President's good feelings.
I saw with pain the persecuting spirit, with which you were followed; but never for a moment doubted your integrity, or final triumph.
I am much gratified with the frankness of your remarks and hope that you will often favour me with communications in the same free spirit. I do not in the least doubt, but that efforts will be made to control the next presidential election, by the same machinery, which so signally failed in the one preceding the present. Cunning men without merit have no other means of advancement, but so long, as the people are sufficiently enlightened to govern themselves, it must fail, when applied on so large a scale as the Union. It may succeed in a State; but when the operation comes to be so greatly extended, the advantage of a good cause fairly supported, becomes irresistible, if the people be at all worthy of their liberty. The individual in this place to whom you allude, I think is friendly. His course towards me appears open and unreserved. I believe great efforts have been made to enlist him, as an indispensible part of the system of management, but I am of the opinion without success.
The constant attachment of my friends, particularly in your quarter, under all circumstances has been to me a source of great pleasure. It seems to me, that their proper course, is to be silent for the present, but watchful. Let time and circumstances develope the movement of others, while on our part let us be careful to place our cause on the sure basis of truth, and the publick welfare. With sincere respect
S. L. GOUVERNEUR Esq.
[Endorsed:] 1828 J. C. Calhoun Confidential.
I am &c &c.