William Crawford to James Monroe, undated
with regard to the nominations, which it is presumed probable has finally had some influence upon your mind, I never interchanged an idea with any member of the Senate, until long after they had been acted upon by that body. I was ignorant of the reasons which had governed your conduct in relation to them, until the publication of the letter of the Secretary of War to the military committee, and consequently could not have explained them, had an opportunity occurred. Any insinuation which may have been made to you, that I had any influence in their rejection is utterly false. I did not even know the opinion of the senators of Georgia until long after they had given their votes.
In the first sentence of the last paragraph of your letter, you add, "that in performing the duty of the high office entrusted to me, I owe it to the country as well as to the integrity of my own character, that its powers should not be paralized in my hands, but be preserved in full force, to the last day of my service, in execution of the measures, on which I have decided, & deem important to the public welfare." If I understand the import & application of the sentence; it refers to opinions which when called upon by you, have been offered by me relative to the right of the Senate to judge of the expediency of foreign missions, & to the power of the President to make original appointments in the recess of that body. upon the first of these questions my opinion was after much reflexion formed, & officially expressed in the Senate of the United States in March 1809. Upon the last if I am not greatly mistaken other I am not the only member of the administration who believe that the power to make original appointments can according the terms of the grant be exercised only by & with the advice of the Senate.
If entertaining those opinions are considered incompatible with my official station relation to you, that relation will I presume be promptly terminated by your act. It is however due to myself to assure you that those opinions will not be employed in any manner, to obstruct the exercise of the power in question whenever it shall be deemed by you necessary to the public interest.
In reply To the two last sentences of the paragraph, I have the honor to state that I know embarrassments have occurred in the execution of some of the measures which you had decided to be necessary and proper, but if I know any thing of myself; of my own conduct in relation to them, they have been the result of causes wholly with unconnected with any act of mine, either of omission or commission. If Sir I remain a member of your administration, it will comport strictly not only with my views, but with my feelings to render you the aid which you desire and expect, if I have distinctly understood what is expected by you. But if it is expected, that I should be responsible for the imputations which my enemies think the interest of their favorites requires them to cast upon me, then indeed it will be impossible for me to remain in the administration with advantage to you or reputation to myself.
To terminate at this moment, by my own act, my official relation towards you might if I have not mistaken the style & speech of your letter subject me by implication, to the charge of having been deficient in my duty toward to the President & of practically declaring that if I should continue in the administration, "the aid which is desired & expected" would not be rendered. To neither of those implications can I consent to subject myself, because such an admission would be wholly inconsistent with my past conduct & future intentions.
I shall with my family set out on my return for the city the [first] of next month, unless I shall before that time receive information from you which will render the journey at least with my family unnecessary.
Whatever your decision may be I shall continue to cherish the recollection of the friendship which I so long existed subsisted between us, & shall always regret, if such shall be the, result, that the intrigues of unprincipled men have deprived me of it, without having had the means or the opportunity of defending myself against their dark & insidious attacks.
With sentiments of the highest respect yours &c.
Wm H Crawford
1816 to 1823