Description

    Arthur Middleton discusses the admission of Vermont into the Union

    Arthur Middleton (1742-1787) Signer of the Declaration of Independence, rare Autograph Letter Signed "A.M." one page, 8" x 11", Philadelphia, January 26, 1782 on a variety of subjects, and in particular, his doubts on the admission of Vermont into the United States. He writes:

    "I hear you left Stanton yesterday & proceeded on you Journey Southward -- I hear you will have had many a disagreeable hour before you receive this -- I find the regulation last made with regard to Promotions goes farther than I imagin'd when I mentioned it to you -- It dissolves the classing of States by districts, which was injurious to some of those who were linked together like the living and the dead in the Past -- The Two parts were combined that the one might carry through the other, tho' the whole [illeg.] was intended merely to clear the way for a favourite promotion; it has not been since pushed but we expect it daily -- V[ermont] is still sub judice several attempts have been made to carry the point of admission to the Union - but a few are obdurate; she will probably at least be kept out for a Time if not for ever & punish'd in the law for her Iniquities -- I enclose all the Newspapers which you neglected to send for -- if upon your arrival you should find any ground, or any thing else to which I have a Claim, that can be of service to you, I hope beg you will make the same use of it as it were your own -- remember me to Sally & Harriet & the little ones..."

    The issue of Vermont was a complex problem facing Congress. The region had been in dispute between New York and New Hampshire who had both claimed it as their own. Conflicting land grants by both colonies nearly led to a civil war. In 1777 representatives of the New Hampshire settlers convened in Westminster and declared independence of the Vermont Republic and soon passed a liberal constitution allowing for universal manhood suffrage, abolition of slavery, and support of public schools. It's admission to the United States as a state was blocked throughout the confederation period by New York and New Hampshire -- Vermont continued operating as a sovereign entity until 1791. Its admission to the union was finally allowed as a regional counterbalance to the admission of Kentucky that joined the Union soon afterwards. A great document from the formative period in the early days of the Republic. Professionally silked and laid down to a larger sheet with left edge repairs, the text is largely unaffected. Excellent appearance. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.


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