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Thomas Welsh to Abigail Adams, 2 June 1797

Thomas Welsh to Abigail Adams

Boston June 2. 1797.

Dear Madam

I had the Pleasure of receiving your Letter of 23 Ulto: with the Pamphlet last Saturday 27th: for which please to accept my Thanks.1

According to your Directions I requested Russell to send the Centinel to you which he has since informed me he has done; you will see the Statement made relative to the Nomination and by this Scrap from the Chronicle the pitifull Venom of Envy in the party really too insignificant to be noticed Go. Blake I suppose is the Author. this is sub Rosa—2

With Respect to the Enquiry how the President’s Speech was received? I can say that for the first 48 Hours it was spoken of with universal Satisfaction by all Classes ’till some of the Leaders had Time to conjure up Objections this they found difficult and still more difficult to [procure?] Aversion as many well meaning Men had suspended their Prejudices and had already expressed their full approbation of the Speech. so that I fully believe that it still is very generally & highly approved.

Governor Sumner is to be introduced into office at 12 O’Clock this Day.3

The Senate is composed of a very fœderal Body. but the House has more antis than usual but not enough to carry any Points how this has hapened I know not without some Secret Schemes have been in operation4

Please to present my Respects to the President let him know that the Fœderalists are begining to deify him and the Jacobins preparing to send him to Tartarus;5 but his Friends wish him to occupy the midle Region of Space. and that he and his Country men may be permitted to inhabit our own peacefull Plains uninterupted by foreign Arts, or foreign Arms.

I am with respect your, Friend and St

Thomas Welsh

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs Adams / Philadelphia”; internal address: “Mrs Adams”; endorsed: “Dr Welch June / 2d 1797.”

1Neither AA’s letter nor the enclosure has been found.

2The Boston Independent Chronicle, 29 May, printed the news of JQA’s nomination, followed by a squib referring to JQA as “an obscure practitioner of the law … mounted on the political ladder with an uncommon celerity.” In response, the Boston Columbian Centinel, 31 May, detailed JQA’s previous diplomatic service, arguing that he was “the best qualified” to serve as minister to Prussia and that JA, “as an independent magistrate,” could nominate whomever he chose. On 1 June the Chronicle requested the Senate to reject JQA’s nomination to Prussia because of “the impropriety of the President’s son being appointed a Minister at any foreign Court,” arguing that JQA would “be induced to give such accounts to his father, as may ultimately involve this country in the utmost perplexity.” It is unclear if George Blake was the author of either of the Chronicle articles.

3Federalist candidate Increase Sumner won the 1797 Massachusetts gubernatorial election, earning 14,540 votes to Democratic-Republican candidate James Sullivan’s 7,125 votes. On 2 June hundreds of citizens escorted Sumner from Roxbury to the State House in Boston, where he and Lt. Gov. Moses Gill were sworn in. Prior to his inauguration, Sumner told the General Court that if he could promote “the prosperity and happiness of the people” of Massachusetts, “it will gratify one of the first wishes of my heart.” When the inauguration was announced from the eastern balcony of the State House, the crowd below “joined in three hearty cheers” and an artillery group “hailed the annunciation with a Federal salute.” Sumner was twice reelected, in 1798 and 1799 (Anson Ely Morse, The Federalist Party in Massachusetts to the Year 1800, Princeton, N.J., 1909, p. 174, 175; William H. Sumner, Memoir of Increase Sumner, Governor of Massachusetts, Boston, 1854, p. 21, 22, 37; Boston Gazette, 5 June 1797).

4The elections for Massachusetts governor, lieutenant governor, and senators were held on 3 April; members of the house of representatives were chosen in May by the individual towns (Massachusetts Mercury, 4 April; Mass. Constitution of 1780, Ch. I, Sect. iii, Art. iv, v). The Boston Columbian Centinel, 31 May, noted that “no material changes have been made in the Members of the House,” and that almost “three quarters of the Senate of last year are reelected.” For the previous Federalist majority in the 1796 elections, see vol. 11:240.

5Tartarus, a place of punishment, was the deepest region of the underworld in Greek mythology (Oxford Classical Dicy. description begins Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, eds., The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3d edn., New York, 1996. description ends ).

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