Columbus Ohio. 6th May 1822
It is two or three years since I had the pleasure of receiving a letter from you. The mission upon which I now write is somewhat similar to that which produced my first letter. I was then particularly anxious that you should have been a candidate for the Presidency. I believed the publick good required it. You however did not consent, and I supported the man whom you recommended*; I did so, with all the ardour of my youth, and of my French-blood.
Once again I wish to consult you on the same subject—the approaching election. There are a great many gentlemen spoken of as candidates; Mr Clay, Mr Adams, Mr Clinton, Mr Tompkins, Mr Crawford, Mr Lowndes, Mr Calhoun and perhaps some others. The contest, I presume, will be between Mr Clay and Mr Adams. I should have no hesitation in preferring Mr Clay to any of the gentleman, or to all of them. From a long and intimate acquaintance, I am disposed to think him one of the greatest and best of men. I am indeed exceedingly attached to him. Be so good as to favour me with your opinion on this subject? It will afford me great pleasure to find that we coincide.
Mr Clay, I think, will get the support of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri: With regard to Ohio he is the darling of the people here. They speak of him as theirs emphatically: they say that now is the time for the Western country to assert its claim; and that if we suffer the present opportunity to pass by, we may not look to the Presidency again, for half a century to come.” As to Virginia, New: York, Pennsylvania and the rest of the states, I have not been able to form an opinion. Accept assurances of my esteem and friendship, and believe me yours sincerely.
Thomas C. Flournoy.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.