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Columbia S. Carolina
To the following letter make no reply. If I say any thing that has not occurred to you before, which is very unlikely, use it in your own way.
My original proposal met with the concurrence of every sensible man to whom I stated it, as a desirable event if it could be carried. But all doubted its present practicability, from the prevailing ignorance & prejudice about Banks. That prejudice is evanescing. But I think, the matter may be managed some years hence, if you take advantage of a stepping stone, which I am persuaded is likely to be placed for your accomodation. I see clearly that ClayH. Clay is likely to be the successful candidate. Harrison is out of the question. So is that very able man Webster. I think, Clay does not mean to advocate your bank as the national Bank. In fact, You are that Bank. When you quit it, you carry with you its Character. All the good it does, and great good it has done, is not given as credit to the Bank, but to Nicholas Biddle. It is all imputed righteousness to yourself, and when it is managed by other heads, it will be difficult to support J its present reputation.
Why not take Woodbury's place under Clay? Then the national bank will be your Bank an appropriate field of usefulness and reputation will be open to you you will have made a great step upwards and it will be your own fault, if you do not make the next step into the chair which you ought to occupy.
Probably you and ClayH. Clay may have come to an understanding about this; for I am not unaware that the opportunity has occured. Remember, I enter my 8oth year this month; & I am talking of probabilities which cannot be realized till I am in the grave. In meantime, if any preliminary movements before the public should be needed, command me if I am living at the time. But I shall not last long. I have had my three warnings. Adieu.
- The correspondence of Nicholas Biddle Dealing With National Affairs 1807