William Wirt to Dabney Carr

My dear friend.

It is an old saying you know that a blacksmith’s mare and a shoe-maker’s wife are generally the worst shod animals in the Parish—& it is certainly true that my dearest friends are the worst-treated of my correspondents—for strangers will not bear to have their letters neglected—& friends will—now I recd a letter from you a good while ago abt Colo. Sam’s son—& young Paez and So America—I was a good deal puzzled what to do abt it; and finally arranged with Mr Clay, as neither of us knew either Bolivar or Paez, and as it wd not do either for him or me to touch the subject diplomatically or officially, that I shd address a letter to him (Clay) on the subject and that he shd write to Watts our chargé at Bogota—This was done which I ought long since to have informed you of—But I had forgot it when I recd the inclosed at this place a few days back. I now send it to you and hope while you are thinking hard of me for not writing to you, you will think well of me for doing the business you asked—I wonder how Mr Jefferson made out to answer every body that wrote to him even while the labours of the Dept of State & then of the Presidency were on his hands?—O! System! as Wm J. Lewis said of Genius, “pardon this humble effort to do justice &c &c vide Judge Cabell—I am here in another government case which will come on tomorrow or next day—I shall be detained here about a week—mean time my courts at Balto are in session & I shd not be surprized if I am leaking at the Burg & saving at the Spicket The Prest of the Bank of the U.S. has been at me, since I came here, to go on to Richd again and take another pull at Stevenson next month—but I don’t see at present how I can make it out—on a/c of those same Balto courts that as you may well believe somewhat loth to relinquish the offered fee—$1000 being “a good thing” in these times—or indeed in any times—we, at least, should have set some store by it about the time we used to go to Amhers[t] Do you mind?—There seem to be strong hopes here that Pennsylvania will support the re-election of Mr Adams, “The ebony & topaz” to the contrary notwithstanding—There seem to be even hopes of Virginiased quare de ambabus—the which quare is an ingenius mode of wording the compromitment of my character for political sagacity—“as who shd say I am Sr Solomon &c”—The truth of the matter is that I begin to feel about politics and political office pretty much as little Harry Moreland (the hero of the book of Quality) did in his father’s great parlour, when his troubles came upon him—“I wish, quoth he, that I was in the kitchen”—and so do I—not from any difficulty in the honest discharge of the political duties of any office in the government from the Presidt down—It requires only prudence—& thought—Whew! The mail has [. . .] to all—[. . .]

Your friend1 [. . .] either Bolivar
Wm Wirt
RC (Vi); torn at seal; addressed: “Dabney Carr Esq Court of Appeals Richmond—(Va )”; franked with Wirt’s signature and postmarked; endorsed by DC: “W Wirt Oct 27th –27.”

sed quare de ambabus: “but which of the two.”

1Manuscript: “fried.”
William Wirt
Dabney Carr
Date Range
October 27, 1827