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    [War of 1812]. William Sullivan Autograph Letter Signed "W. Sullivan." One page, 8.25" x 10", Boston, August 14, 1812, a retained draft of a letter to Theodore Dwight, the influential Federalist secretary to the controversial Hartford Convention. Docketed on verso, "W. S. to Theodore Dwight Aug. 14. 1812" At the outbreak of War with Great Britain, Sullivan, a member of the Federalist Central Committee of Boston, discusses political strategy two months following Madison's declaration of war. Marginal wear, some termite holes at center fold affects a few words of text, light dampstaining, else very good.

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    Sullivan (1774-1839), an important member of the second generation of Massachusetts Federalists and the son of Governor James Sullivan of Massachusetts, writes, "Your letter of the 7th is just received & is very welcome. We shall have a comparison of opinions on your suggestions, among our friends, as soon as possible. - The information from Mr. G. is very acceptable - The subject has undergone much examination and the change proposed meets the cordial approbation of all classes of our community. They care not who is elected if he be a man pledged to peace & commerce & free from any foreign influence. How L. will be received among those, who have been the authors, those who are and are now the approvers of our public calamities, remains to be known. But there is no reason for despondency in this respect. - Should any of your friends come to Boston with instruction to return to Hartford please to let me know of it." Below his signature, Sullivan has written (and crossed out): "I trust this to the post office Mr Henry notwithstanding. And if (as Harry says is probable) Democrats will break seals I hope they will see in this some reason to suppose that better men will soon have their places, and that betters may go forth as they did formerly."


    The outbreak of The War of 1812 with Great Britain alienated many New Englanders who depended upon sea borne commerce and held close ties with London merchants. They viewed the war as a continuation of French meddling in American politics (in the form of Thomas Jefferson and his successor, James Madison). In early 1815, a group of New Englanders met at Hartford, Connecticut to discuss the situation and forward collective grievances to Washington. Although the meeting did not openly advocate succession, this was the impression left upon many of their opponents who branded the convention as treasonous. This (together with the peace of 1815) spelled the beginning of the end of the Federalist Party.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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