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    A Federalist criticizes Jay's Treaty

    Jared Ingersoll (1749-1822) Signer of the Constitution, Autograph Letter Signed, "J. Ingersoll" three pages with integral address leaf in his hand, Philadelphia, November 9, 1795 to Samuel Bayard (1767-1840), agent of the United States in London charged with prosecuting American claims in British Admiralty Courts. A fine content letter criticizing Jay's Treaty with Great Britain and the growing rift in America between supporters of the French Revolution and those advocating stronger ties with Britain. He writes in part: "...Mistress of the Ocean, Great Britain appears to me, to disregard all considerations of Justice or the Rights of Neutral Nations, much of her conduct is in conformity with such sentiments & and admits an easy solution, but why she should at the same moment court us to a degrading Treaty, and insult us while its ratification was in Uncertainty, I do not understand. What is there at the Court of Great Britain to dazzle the eyes and turns the head of an American? have you experienced its fascinating Charms? as my three years residence was in the sequestered Chambers of the temple, I am at a loss to know why it is that the U.S. diminish so much in the eye of an American resident at [the Court of] St. James. When I say so much I mean as one would suppose from the perusal of Mr. jay's Treaty. While I thus express myself with respect to the English Court do not consider me a Partizan [sic] of France, I see with infinite regret a French & and English Interest rising up among us, and threatening to include all under those two Factions and to leave note to support an American Independent Character, that will regard French & English only as they may be rendered subservient to this national Concern- At last favor me you're your opinion as to the probable and expectable conduct of the English Court as the subject of the Spoliations on our trade, do they attempt to justify the measure? will they compensate us for our losses, is Delay their object. The revocation of the provision order as I is called, I take for granted, I only because, it is thought by Mr. Pitt, that they have less need of our Flour, now than previously to their harvest , or that they can at present hold over Accounts with us, if we threaten Sequestration, at any rate that they do not recall upon any Acknowledgement that the Order was not founded on the Law of Nations..." Ingersoll studied law in London at the Middle Temple in the late 1760s where he made the acquaintance with Benjamin Franklin. In late 1794, John Jay had negotiated a commercial treaty with Great Britain (commonly known as Jay's Treaty) in which the British agreed to abandon their forts in the Northwest Territory in exchange for the settlement of pre-Revolutionary War debts owed to British citizens. Many regarded the treaty as a sell-out as the agreement did not address the problem of British impressments of American ship crews and those opposed to Britain's war with revolutionary France. Ingersoll accurately predicts the rift between opponents and supporters of the French Revolution in America that preoccupied political discourse for the balance of the decade. Small hole from seal tear, light creases, else fine. Incredible insight, important history... a great letter. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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