1799 Historic Political Letter to GENERAL WILLIAM SHEPARD Regarding Adams

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1799 Historic Political Letter to GENERAL WILLIAM SHEPARD Regarding Adams
Historic Americana
1799 On President John Adams “...in the mind of our President, one year of peace is worth a whole eternity of war!”
(GENERAL WILLIAM LYMAN SHEPARD) (1737-1817). United States Representative from Massachusetts, American Revolutionary War Officer and Brigadier General of the Massachusetts Militia who prevented the capture of the Springfield Arsenal during Shays’ Rebellion, member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council.
December 16, 1799-Dated Federal Period, Historic Political Content Manuscript Letter, 2 pages, Choice Very Fine+. Written just Two Days after the Death of George Washington, this lightly folded Letter measuring 9” x 7.25” is from Samuel Henshaw to William Shephard. The “President” referred to here is none other than John Adams. It is also interesting to note that this letter was written two days after the death of another American President, George Washington. Written in brown ink on laid paper, the creases are almost entirely smoothed out and do not hamper the text in any way. The print is still bold and bright, and there are almost no signs of toning or chipping. This letter is in excellent condition. This Letter reads, in full:

“Hon. Wm Shephard Esqe. -- Northampton Dec.(embe)r 16th: 1799. -- My dear Sir. -- In the first place I congratulate you on the choice of a Speaker of your House. When in the Chair of the House of Representatives of this State, He exhibited greater presiding talents than I have ever seen in any other Speaker. And I doubt not but He will do himself equal honor, and be more eminently useful in the exalted station to which He is now raised by the free suffrages of enlightened Patriots.

And in the next place I congratulate you & my Country on the plain, candid, firm & dignified Speech of our truly illustrious President! May God bless him & all his supporters, & turn the Hearts of his opposers to the true policy, peace & prosperity of our Country!” And in the third place I thank you for transmitting to me the paper which contains the above interesting information. While three Quarters of the Globe are groaning under all the complicated horrors of war, I hope in God, that the wisdom of our Government, seconded by the united energy of the People, will preserve our thrice happy Land from similar calamities — But I fear, that the pride & passions of some influential characters will prompt them to hazard the peace of our Country to exalt, what they call, our National Honor.

These Mettlesome Gentry cannot brook a National affront any more than a private sarcasm; and would much rather challenge millions to the combat to avenge the one than an Individual to a Duel to wipe off the other. For my part I believe it is best for Nations as well as for Individuals - ‘to leave off contention before it be meddled with’ - and to turn the other cheek before they plunge the deadly poniard. A Man of pure morals & sound wisdom would rather pocket a national affront than deluge his country in Blood — would rather send Messengers of peace than ‘let loose the Dogs of war.’

And we, my Friend, have reason to rejoice, That, in the mind of our President, one year of peace is worth a whole eternity of war! — under his administration may the Olive Branch wave over every cottage; and may the Industrious Proprietor enjoy the fruit of his labour, the embraces of his Wife, & the prattle of his Children! -- I am my dear Sir, very sincerely your Friend & humble Servant, Samuel Henshaw.”