Description

    "I find, in this part of the Country, [political] parties run very high"

    The Federalist Party: Three Eighteenth Century Letters Advocating Federalist Solutions to Early American Problems, such as the Revolutionary War debt. These letters demonstrate the early partisan politics, resulting in the formation of the first U.S. political parties: the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and the Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson. Some weakness, separation, and tape repairs exist at some folds of these letters. Corner tears and margin fraying result in the loss of some text.

    All three letters are written by Federalists, two from Pennsylvania. In one letter (September 5, 1799), accountant and Universalist minister Timothy Banger writes Samuel Hodgdon, the Superintendent of Military Stores in Philadelphia, his defense against Republicans charging the U.S. Government "with being a set of public plunderers, ready to support some daring candidate for a throne." Observing the rise of the newly forming political parties, Banger writes, "Where I have been, I find, in this part of the Country parties run very high. I never fail to though [throw] into the scale that small share of influence I have, in support of the best Government on earth." The Federalist writer wishes that the newly passed Alien and Sedition Acts (1798) could be "inflicted on such vile offenders" as "parson Nathaniel Irwin", who had written an earlier address "replete with misrepresentation and falsehood."

    In another letter (December 13, 1799), Samuel Lyman, a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, writes to Colonel Thomas Dwight about the selection of Federalist Theodore Sedgwick as the new speaker of the House ("the choice . . . does not show that the federal majority of our house is so large"); the new concern of sectionalism ("the fact is the Doorkeeper, the sergeant at arms, the clerk . . . the temporary President of the Senate, and the President of the U. States, are all originally from New England, & in deed are all from Massachusetts"); and a weakness of the Republicans ("Those foolish young Dogs at Northampton act like French Puppies"). Regarding the "real Character of the present House", Lyman writes, "I have no doubt but that good sense & federalism will preponderate." This letter is signed twice by Lyman, once as a free frank.

    The final letter (ca. 1799), addressed to "Mr. Printer" and signed by the pseudonym "Aristides", was likely meant to be published in a newspaper. It explains the characteristics of the U.S. debt and presents suggestions for its repayment. It begins, though, by stating that "the first inquiry will naturally direct itself to the powers of the new government", which should include the Federalist idea of "Congress to provide for the debts of the Union. . . . The leading distinction of the debt of the United States, is into foreign, or that for loans for [...] European nations . . . during the late war."


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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