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My DEAR Blair, I received this morning your very agreeable favor of the 17th instant. A letter from you is always refreshing ; and I wish that I could entitle myself to expect them more frequently, by more punctuality and diligence on my part in our correspondence. My last letter informed you of the unction that was unceasingly applied to me by all the returned candidates for the Presidency, or rather their friends. Since then I have avowed my intention to support Mr. Adams, under actual circumstances, and thereupon the oil has been instantly transformed into vinegar. The friends of have turned upon me, and with the most amiable unanimity agree to vituperate me. I am a deserter from democracy ; a giant at intrigue ; have sold the West sold myself defeating General Jackson's election to leave open the Western pretensions that I may hereafter fill them myself blasting all my fair prospects, etc., etc. To these are added a thousand other of the most gentle and kind, and agreeable epithets and things in the world.
', who are themselves straining every nerve to elect
Jackson that the claims of the West may be satisfied and I be thereby pretermitted, are accusing me of acting on their own principles. The knaves can not comprehend how a man can be honest. They can not conceive that I should have solemnly interrogated my conscience and asked it to tell me seriously what I ought to do. That it should have enjoined me not to establish the dangerous precedent of elevating, in this early stage of the Republic, a military chieftain, merely because he has won a great victory? That it should have told me that a public man is undeserving his station who will not, regardless of aspersions and calumnies, risk himself for his country? I am afraid that you will think me moved by these abuses. Be not deceived. I assure you that I never in my whole life felt more perfect composure, more entire confidence in the resolutions of my judgment, and a more unshakable determination to march up to my duty. And, my dear sir, is there an intelligent and unbiased man who must not, sooner or later, concur with me? Mr. Adams you know well I should never have selected, if at liberty to draw from the whole mass of our citizens xor a President. But there is no danger in his elevation now, or in time to come. Not so of his competitor, of whom I can not believe that killing two thousand five hundred Englishmen at New Orleans, qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the chief magistracy. I perceive that I am unconsciously writing a sort of defense, which you may possibly think implies guilt. What will be the result? you will ask with curiosity, if not anxiety. I think Mr. Adams must be elected, such is the prevailing opinion. Still I shall not consider the matter as certain until the election is over. [Henry Clay]
- Henry Clay