Day cloudy with a sharp East wind and occasional drizzle. I went into town taking with me one of my Wife’s women whom I left. My time much taken up at the Office in Accounts preparatory to my regular annual examination. The difficulties heretofore experienced were removed and I proceeded to closing my books as usual.
This process was interrupted by a call from Mr. Hallett. Quite unexpected and as I afterwards discovered not by any means intended. I felt bound to be somewhat upon my guard and was so. Our talk upon the state of affairs and the Banking system. Mr. Hallett has screwed himself into an attitude of hostility to all Banks including the deposite Banks and he thinks the Government will sustain him and sacrifice them. My own impression is different. The deposite Banks were selected for their fidelity to the Administration and have partisans both as owners, managers and borrowers. How then can a head of a party 257sacrifice all the friends he has rewarded, because they accepted and used the reward? I said I thought a compromise might be attempted, and was the more confirmed in the idea from an article in the Richmond Enquirer. He said he thought the only safe ground for the President to take in his Message would be to cut the Government entirely clear from all banks. If he did this, the people would sustain him. If not, his fate was sealed and Mr. Thomas H. Benton would ride over him.
A. H. Everett came in and I soon gave the conversation another turn. Having discussed slavery and abolition, he retired, and Mr. Everett then intimated that there was a difficulty in the wind about the Advocate, it’s proprietors revolting much at the ground proposed to be taken respecting Banks. And Mr. Hallett had come to see Everett to advise with him respecting it. This does not surprise me knowing who the Advocate’s proprietors are. Nor am I sorry for it as Mr. Hallett has sacrificed every thing for his head. My own feeling is one rather of release. For in the change which must soon take place in the position of the paper, I can be released from any responsibility. To be sure I am thrown back again just where I was, but this must be set down to my situation which forbids success in politics. Perhaps I am as happy for it.
Home to dinner. Afternoon at home and at the house. Wieland and Tocqueville, and copying a long paper for my father.