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Head Quarters, Army of Occupation,
My dear Sir, By yesterday's mail I had the gratification of receiving your very welcome letter of the 27th September. Rest assured that nothing has transpired, nothing can transpire, to impair the amicable and kindly relations which it has been my pleasure and pride for so long time to maintain with you. Hints, similar to those to which you refer, have been thrown out in letters which I have recently received j but they have had no influence whatever upon me ; not one word has served, in the remotest degree, to prejudice me against yourself or your friends, in either personal or political relations.
I fully agree with you in the necessity for more deliberation in the selection of a candidate for the Presidency, and I truly regret that my name should have been used in that relation. It has been permitted with the greatest reluctance on my part, and only from a sense of duty to the country. My repugnance to being a candidate before the nation for that exalted office has been frankly and sincerely made known. Most truly is it my hope that before next November the party may select a Whig in all respects worthy of the confidence of the country. To a mutual friend of ours I have recently made this announcement, asserting my greater desire for the quiet of private occupations, as not only a more appropriate termination to my services as a soldier, and more consonant with my earnest wishes, but particularly proper in reference to my limited acquaintance with matters of civil and national polity. I stated to him specifically that I was ready to stand aside, if you or any other Whig were the choice of the party, and that I sincerely hoped such might be their decision.
The importance of harmony and good feeling among the opponents of the present dynasty, is by no one appreciated more considerately than by myself, and whatever may be the decision of the party, I shall be studiously guarded in this particular, and strive to lend my best endeavors to the preservation of unity.
Permit me to repeat, that whatever representations may be made to me, from any source, conveying any expression of disrespect toward yourself or your friends, or that either entertain unfriendly feelings toward me, be assured, my dear sir, they will be repelled and discredited, as they justly merit.
I am much rejoiced that I have this opportunity to assure you, not only of my frank and full confidence in your friendship and kindly feelings, but that I warmly appreciate your wishes for my own success, and your expressed desire to contribute to it.
With my cordial assurance that what is herein written is dictated by the same candid and friendly spirit, so evident in your own letter, I subscribe myself, most sincerely and faithfully,
- The Private Correspondence of Henry Clay, Edited by Calvin Colton, Ll.D. 1856