Front Page Titles (by Subject) CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN. - The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 2
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CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN. - Albert Gallatin, The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 2 
The Writings of Albert Gallatin, ed. Henry Adams (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1879). 3 vols.
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CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN.
Washington, 13th May, 1822.
My dear Sir,—
It is now nearly two years since I have received a letter from you. Your last was dated about the 30th of August, 1820.
The negotiation between France and the United States, which has been carried on here for two years past, concerning our commercial relations, is likely to terminate successfully. I know of nothing which will probably prevent it, unless our determination to support every officer of the government in violating the orders, laws, and Constitution of the government and nation should oppose an insurmountable obstacle to it. Captain Stockton, of the Alligator, has seized a number of French vessels, under the French flag, with French papers and French officers, and crews, at least, not composed of American citizens; yet we have tendered no satisfaction to the French government for this outrage upon their flag and upon the principles which we stoutly defend against England. A disposition to discuss has always characterized our government; but until recently an appearance of moderation has marked our discussions. Now our disposition to discuss seems to have augmented, and the spirit of conciliation has manifestly been abandoned by our councils. We are determined to say harsher things than are said to us, and to have the last word. Where this temper will lead us cannot be distinctly foreseen. We are now upon bad terms with the principal maritime states, and perhaps on the brink of a rupture with Russia, on account of the prohibition to trade with the North-West coast beyond the 51st degree of north latitude and to approach within 100 Italian miles of the islands on the Asiatic side. I have labored to restrain this predominant disposition of the government, but have succeeded only partially in softening the asperities which invariably predominate in the official notes of the State Department. If these notes had been permitted to remain as originally drafted, we should, I believe, have before this time been unembarrassed by diplomatic relations with more than one power. The tendency to estrange us from all foreign powers, which the style of the notes of the State Department has uniformly had, has been so often demonstrated, yet so often permitted, that I have almost given up the idea of maintaining friendly relations with those powers. But of late another embarrassment, no less perplexing in its tendency, has arisen. Our Mars has intuitive perceptions not only upon military organization, but upon fortifications and other military subjects. These intuitions of his have involved the President in contests with both Houses of Congress. He has contrived to make them those of the President instead of his own. A state of irritation prevails which greatly exceeds anything which has occurred in the history of this government. The Secretary of War is now, in the estimation of the public, lord of the ascendant. Certain it is that every appointment in Florida was made without my knowledge, and even the appointments connected with my own Department have been made without regard to my wishes, or rather without ascertaining what they were.
It is understood that an impression has been made upon the mind of the President that the rejection of the military nominations by the Senate has been effected by my influence.
I have known this for nearly two months, but have taken no step to counteract it, and shall take none, because I believe it will not be injurious to me to remain in this state, or even to be removed from office.
The latter, however, is an honor which I shall not solicit, although I do not believe it would be injurious to me in a political point of view.
You will perceive by the newspapers that much agitation has already prevailed as to the election of the next President. The war candidate, as Mr. Randolph calls him, is understood to be extremely active in his operations, and, as it has been said by religious zealots, appears to be determined to take the citadel by storm.
An impression prevails that Mr. A.’s friends, in despair of his success, have thrown themselves into the scale of his more youthful friend, lately converted into a competitor. You will have seen that Mr. Lowndes has been nominated by the South Carolina Legislature, or rather by a portion of it. This event, as well as the present course of the Secretary of War, it is believed, may be traced to the election of Governor Clark, of Georgia. This gentleman is personally my enemy. He was elected in 1819 in opposition to Colonel Troup by a majority of 13 votes. In 1821 he was opposed by the same gentleman. Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Lowndes had conceived the idea that if he should be re-elected the electoral vote of Georgia would be against me. He was re-elected by a majority of two votes. Calhoun and Lowndes had through the year favored Mr. A.’s pretensions; they found, however, that it was an uphill work. Considering me “hors du combat,” and finding Mr. A. unacceptable to the South, each of them supposed that the Southern interest would become the property of the first adventurer. Mr. C. had made a tour of observation in Pennsylvania, whilst Mr. L. kept watch at home. When the result of the Georgia election was known, Mr. C. threw himself upon Pennsylvania, and Mr. L., who had remained in South Carolina until after the meeting of its Legislature, was nominated by a portion of it to the Presidency.
A conference took place between them, but no adjustment was effected, as each determined to hold the vantage-ground which he was supposed to have gained. The delusion as to Georgia has passed away; but Mr. C. cannot now recede, and entertains confident hopes of success. Pennsylvania he calculates upon, as well as upon many other States. Mr. Clay is held up by his friends, but has not taken any decided measure. I consider everything that has passed as deciding nothing. Everything will depend on the election of Congress, which takes place this year in all the States except Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. My own impression is that Mr. C. will be the Federal candidate, if his name is kept up. If he should be put down (and I think he will be, especially if Pennsylvania should declare against him), Mr. Adams will be the Federal candidate. Mr. Clay will be up if Pennsylvania, Virginia, or New York will declare for him. At present there is not much prospect of either.
The stockholders of the Bank of the United States are becoming restive under the low dividends which they receive. A decided opposition to Mr. Cheves will be made the next year. I understand that many of the stockholders are for placing you at the head of that institution. I know not whether you wish such an appointment. The election of governor comes on next year. Many persons are spoken of for that office. Bryan, Ingham, Lowrie, and Lacock are among the number, and some intimations have reached me that if you were here you might be selected. Ingham is connected with Mr. Calhoun. The others are unfavorable to his views.
Present my respects to Mrs. Gallatin and every member of your family.
I remain, dear sir, your sincere friend, &c.