Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from George Cabot, 11 October 1800

From George Cabot

Brookline [Massachusetts] Saturday Oct.~ 11th. 1800

My dear sir

Your letter of the 2d1 did not reach me until last evening, it having been accidentally detained at the Stage house in this village several days. The President is on the point of departure for the Seat of Govt so that no opportunity of conveyance by a private Gentleman cou’d be found, I have therefore sent your letter2 by a sure hand to the post office whence it undoubtedly goes in the President’s regular package of letters to Quincy this day. I have chosen this method as more sure of reaching his own hand than if I had sent it by a Servant who wou’d have been obliged to deliver it perhaps to another servant instead of the President or his Secretary. our people after all their scolding seem now to admit more generally that Massachusetts ought fairly to vote for A & P but you know that we can only give conjectures until the meeting of our legislature.3 altho’ I am not “an influential man” & wish I was not thought to be, I expect at least one & if printed several copies of your justificatory letter.4

Dr. Dwight is here stirring us up to oppose the Demon of Jacobinism.5 a new paper to be entitled the “New England Anti-jacobin” is to be published at Boston6 & circulated as extensively as possible especially thro New England. the labors of many good men are expected in its support & you among the rest. some good may reasonably be expected from it in the dissemination of useful truth in correcting some of the dangerous errors embraced by the Federalists in uniting & keeping them united & in some measure preparing them for the evils they cannot shun. but the object is too vague & the means too inconstant to satisfy all our anxieties.

the President has been endeavering to be calm & discreet & has discovered a desire to be visited by the Individuals of the “Damned Faction” whom he has formerly proscribed.

your’s affectionately

G Cabot

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Letter not found.

3For the presidential campaign in Massachusetts, see the introductory note to H to Theodore Sedgwick, May 4, 1800.

5Timothy Dwight, a Federalist in politics and a Calvinist in religion, was the minister of a Congregational church in Greenfield, Connecticut, from 1783 to 1795 and president of Yale College from 1795 to 1817.

On October 16, 1800, the [Philadelphia] Gazette of the United States & Daily Advertiser, under the date line “Boston October 8,” carried the following item: “The Rev. Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College, is now on a visit to this town.”

6On October 27, 1800, Jedidiah Morse, a Congregational clergyman from Charlestown, Massachusetts, wrote to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., informing him of the Federalist plan to establish a party newspaper (ALS, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford) and enclosed “Scheme of a Newspaper, to be published in Boston, & to be entitled The New England Palladium,” which lists the following specifications: “I. The paper shall be handsomely printed on a large folio, twice a week, viz on every Monday & Thursday, on a good paper & fair type.

“II. It shall be delivered to subscribers at the moderate price of three dollars per annum.

“III. Three pages in each sheet shall be devoted to News, & to political, moral & literary essays.

“In selecting the articles of news, the public may be assured that the greatest care will be exercised to present those only as facts which are well authenticated; & to exhibit as probabilities those only which are attended with sufficient evidence; and by a comparison of dates & other references, to connect, in a historical chain, the current intelligence on both sides of the Atlantic.

“At the end of every three months it is proposed to furnish the Reader with a compendium of all the important events which shall have been announced during the preceeding quarter; & at the end of every year with a complete & copious index of all the interesting Articles which shall have been detailed in that period.

“In the literary part of the paper free access will be given to every ingenious & decent effort coinciding with the principal design of the paper, of which its title is a direct indication.

“The intention of the Paper, as will be easily conjectured, is, to support the government, morals, religion, & state of Society, of our country, in general, & particularly the Institutions & state of Society in New England. To defend these on the one hand, & on the other to expose Jacobinism in every form both of principle & practice, both of philosophism & licentiousness, will be the supreme object of this publication. For this purpose every useful essay already published will be industriously selected, & every original effort of the same character, gratefully received.

“As the price of the paper will be very moderate—as the assistance of a number of Gentlemen high in the public esteem is secured, & as the ends of the publication are of the first importance, it is expected that the good people of New England & of other parts of the Union, (all of whom it is believed are deeply interested in the great objects which this paper will espouse,) will cheerfully contribute to its speedy & general circulation. To the paper itself we confidently appeal for proof that our account of it is not an exaggeration.

“It ought perhaps to be added that the Palladium will lend no countenance or support to local or accidental contentions between such as are friends to the American government, but will be wholly employed in advocating those principles in which all persons of this character must of necessity harmonize.

“The Editors of the several Federal papers in this country have merited much of their fellow citizens by their faithful & persevering opposition to the enemies of the American Constitution & government, & their steady dissemination of just political principles. Some of them particularly are enti[t]led to high praise. But as all their papers are necessarily calculated, in a great degree, for other purposes, beside the diffusion of political knowledge, it seems indispensible that a new publication should be formed to accomplish the great design of the New England Palladium.

“In the mean time it is rationally & confidently expected that every Editor of a Newspaper, who is friendly to the existing government of the United States will cheerfully co-operate with us in this design, by republishing, from this paper such pieces as shall appear to them especially suited to its accomplishment.” (Copy, in Morse’s handwriting, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford.)

Despite their elaborate plans, the Federalists did not at this time establish a newspaper in Boston. On the other hand, on January 2, 1801, the [Boston] Massachusetts Mercury changed its name to The Mercury and New-England Palladium, and on March 11, 1803, this paper in turn changed its name to the New-England Palladium. The Palladium became one of the country’s leading Federalist papers.

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