Letter from William Henry Seward to Samuel Sweezey Seward, December 20, 1823

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Letter from William Henry Seward to Samuel Sweezey Seward, December 20, 1823



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Letter from William Henry Seward to Samuel Sweezey Seward, December 20, 1823

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Auburn, NY

receiver: Samuel Seward
Birth: 1768-12-05  Death: 1849-08-24

location: Florida, NY

transcription: lmd 

revision: crb 2016-12-02

Page 1

Auburn December 20th, 1823
My Dear Father
Saturday night has come and finds three letters from you
upon my table unanswered — Without following the order of either
I shall attend to them generally and first as to the Post Office.
Shortly after writing to you a memorial was prepared to be
addressed to the P. M. G.
Birth: 1785-03-11 Death: 1861-04-04
setting forth the reasons for remo-
ving the present incumbent and given confidentially to
a friend
of ours for the purpose of procuring signatures.
It fell into the hands of Richard L. Smith
Birth: 1791 Death: 1838-09-06
a Clintonian
who has been the Sam Wilkins
Birth: 1793-12-17 Death: 1866-03-11
of the Party in this County
for time immemorial and who asserted his pretensions
to the Office — Being a warm friend of Judge Miller
Birth: 1772-04-11 Death: 1851-11-13
calculated upon his interest in the matter and in this
expectation undertook the circulation of the memorial.
This circumstance has compelled us to drop the project
for the present — As we think it highly dangerous to ex-
pose me to the open hostility of my friends the Bucktails
and to the jealousy and ill will of the Clintonians in fa-
vor of Smith. We therefore have lain up the memorial
for further consideration and whenever we think it pru-
dent to resort to it again will advise you upon it.
The grounds of removal are strong and can be well sub-
stantiated — but the Throops
x Birth: 1784-08-21  Death: 1874-11-01  Birth: 1793-04-12  Death: 1854-02-23 
are the Lords and Masters
of the County and in the present singular political junc-
ture it is uncertain how safe it may be to avow an opposi-
tion to their Aristocracy.
As to general politics I am strongly of the opinion with you
that Adams
Birth: 1767-07-11 Death: 1848-02-23
must be withdrawn in this State — There are
many reasons independent of his merit why he should be
preferred to any or to all the other Candidates but we
must sacrifice Northern feelings and local partialities
and take up Calhoun
Birth: 1782-03-18 Death: 1850-03-31
or Clay
Birth: 1777-04-12 Death: 1852-06-29
. Either of them will be
found worthy of the confidence of the Nation but wheth-
er they will be nominated with any reasonable ex-
pectation of success in this State I think very question-
able — In short Mr Van Buren
Birth: 1782-12-05 Death: 1862-07-24
’s machinations appear
to me to have brought the State of New York into this
Page 2

dilemma — Either the mode of choosing Electors must be chan-
ged or it must not be changed — If it remain as it is then beyond
a doubt William H. Crawford
Birth: 1772-02-24 Death: 1834-09-15
will have the vote of this
State — if it be altered then all the shreds and patches of po-
litical dress will be sewed into one mantle of orthodoxy
which will once more be thrown upon the shoulders of
De Witt Clinton
Birth: 1769-03-02 Death: 1828-02-11
– Recent reports from Bucktails at Albany
say that Clinton will be the opposing Candidate to
Crawford — The political salvation of Van Buren rests upon
his adhesion to Crawford — if then that faction is left to
the pursuit of their unprincipled wishes — and if the old de-
mocracy of the State around Adams or Calhoun
or Clay or Jackson
Birth: 1767-03-15 Death: 1845-06-08
then it seems to me almost certain
that Clinton’s third ticket will be elected.
Between the alternatives of Van Buren or Clinton I do not
think on considerations of principle that it is difficult
to decide — Unprincipled they both are but with all
his sins Clinton has talents great and expanded — Van
Buren’s genius has sunk into cunning and chicanery
His name was once the pride and glory of his native
State but it now reaches our ears in connection with
the detection of some dark intrigue or the exposure of some
political conspiracy — Again if Clinton gains the Presidency
his Administration will be such as a Northern man should
wish — But who that was a supporter of Jefferson
Birth: 1743-04-13 Death: 1826-07-04
, of Madison
Birth: 1751-03-16 Death: 1836-06-28
, or
of Tompkins
Birth: 1774-06-21 Death: 1825-06-11
can vote for De Witt Clinton who that knows him as
do the Republicans of this State can support him? But what shall
be done — It seems to me that Judge Yate's
Birth: 1768-11-09 Death: 1837-03-19
party in this State is
not sufficiently efficient to bring forward and support an
independent man who would rescue the votes of the State
both from Crawford and Clinton. Besides it is uncertain
how Judge Yates will stain himself — Root
Birth: 1773-03-16 Death: 1846-12-24
is declared for
Crawford and may not the paramount love of Office bend
our Governor to the views of that Party. There are two men
and only two who might arouse the slumbering spirit of
democracy and cause her to bust the shackles which her
perfidious sons are fastening upon her — those two are Sam-
uel Young
Birth: 1779 Death: 1850-11-03
& Nathan Sanford
Birth: 1777-11-05 Death: 1838-10-17
— In their exertions there would
Page 3

would be hope — In the meantime prudence as well as pat-
riotism requires of all honest politicians that while they a-
vow their decided opposition to the conduct of Van Buren &
his Associates they should hold themselves uncommitted
to any particular Candidate until it can be plainly
seen around whose standard of all the other unexcep-
tionable Candidates, they may rally with the best hope
of success. I appreciate the counsels you have given
me on the subject of politics and shall endeavour
to follow them — I am seldom zealous upon the
subject except when in conversation with or in writing
to my friends—
Have you yet met with the correspondence between
John Adams
Birth: 1735-10-30 Death: 1826-07-04
and Wm Cunningham
Birth: 1767-09-09 Death: 1823-04-10
? A copy of it
has reached us here and I find it extremely interesting
but it is impossible I think for any person to read
it without feeling the strongest abhorrence for the
Birth: 1792 Death: 1852
of Wm Cunningham by whom it was publish-
ed — As containing the history of John Adams
feelings when dismissed from office and long after-
wards, as giving a strong view
of his character and of that of
Alexander Hamilton
Birth: 1757-01-11 Death: 1804-07-12
& many others it is well worth
a perusal
To read with attention • To observe; to examine with careful survey •
— and it is valuable as showing the
entire destitution of moral as well as political principle
of those who oppose the elevation of J. Q. Adams to the
Presidency —
Birth: 1805 Death: 1839-01-04
went yesterday to Mr Horton
Birth: 1810-07-02 Death: 1869-01-10
’s at Weeds Basin

They are cousins you know and as the first proof of
relationship they came to me yesterday to employ
me in the partition of some lands — I go for Cor-
nelia this evening — Unless there should be more snow
in a few days you must not expect us till after
our Courts in January — May I hope the continu-
ance of your Correspondence which has lately became
so interesting — My best regards to all my friends
my love to Ma
Birth: 1769-11-27 Death: 1844-12-11
& Brothers
x Birth: 1808-08-26  Death: 1888-12-07  Birth: 1799  Death: 1872-04-23 

Yours affectionately
Wm H. Seward
S. S. S. —
Page 4

Hon. Saml. S. Seward
Post Master
Orange Co
21 Dec
Hand Shiftx

Samuel Seward

Birth: 1768-12-05 Death: 1849-08-24
W. H. Seward
Letter 21 Dec 1824