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My DEAR Sir, A friend informs me that, at Richmond, my arrangement of the committees of the House of Representatives has been the subject of some animadversion, in consequence of Mr. Barbour, late Speaker, not being at the head of any committee. The truth is, that it was my intention to have appointed him chairman of one of the most prominent committees, of the House, but he entreated me not to put him at the head of any committee, nor on any committee, which might require much of his time, as he wished to employ it exclusively in study. I should certainly not offer, even to a friend, any explanation of my official conduct in such a matter, if it were not to prevent misconception
of my motives in respect to a gentleman between whom and myself unfortunately some competition existed. I am sure if he were apprised (he is now absent from Washington) of the erroneous impression existing at Richmond, he would himself hasten to correct it. I have a full share of human frailties ; but a want of consideration for a competitor, in relation to any object, does not, if I know myself, happen to be one of them.
Did you get a lengthy letter that I wrote you in August or September last?
- Henry Clay