Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Andrew Dunlap, 28 July 1822

To Andrew Dunlap

Monticello July 28. 22.

Th: Jefferson returns his thanks to mr Dunlap for the copy of his eloquent oration which he has been pleased to send him, and especially for the kind and partial expressions in it which respect himself. the adherence to the principles of the revolution is always welcome to him, and he thinks it singularly happy that a day is set apart in every year, for the effusion of those sentiments of freedom and equality which are felt by the nation and are equally testified and nourished by the enthusiasm of the occasion. he salutes mr Dunlap with esteem and respect.

RC (NNU: Fales Family Papers); addressed: “Mr Andrew Dunlap Boston”; franked; postmarked Charlottesville, 28 July; endorsed by Dunlap. PoC (DLC); on verso of a reused address cover from Bernard Peyton to TJ; endorsed by TJ.

Andrew Dunlap (1794–1835), attorney and public official, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard University in 1813. After his admission to the bar in 1816, he practiced law in Salem and, from 1820, in Boston. A staunch supporter of Andrew Jackson, Dunlap served for one term in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1826–27, and was United States district attorney for Massachusetts from 1829 until his resignation due to poor health just before his death in Salem (De Coursey Fales, The Fales Family of Bristol, Rhode Island [1919], 123–7; MaSaPEM: Dunlap Papers; Harvard Catalogue description begins Harvard University Quinquennial Catalogue of the Officers and Graduates, 1636–1925, 1925 description ends , 190; Salem Gazette, 20 Sept. 1816, 29 Aug. 1820, 27 Mar., 28 July 1835; Boston Commercial Gazette, 15 May 1826; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 4:6, 7 [6, 7 Mar. 1829]; Jackson, Papers description begins Sam B. Smith, Harold D. Moser, Daniel Feller, and others, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, 1980– , 11 vols. description ends , 7:678, 679, 8:470–2; DNA: RG 29, CS, Mass., Boston, 1830; Dunlap, A Treatise on the Practice of Courts of Admiralty in Civil Causes of Maritime Jurisdiction [1836]).

Dunlap’s eloquent speech was An Oration, delivered at the Request of the Republicans of Boston, at Fanueil Hall, on the Fourth of July, 1822 (Boston, 1822), which portrays the American Revolution as a principled struggle to attain the rights of man; states that the revolutionaries renounced “totally, and forever, those absurd, and tyrannical maxims of politics, which are the stay of the Priesthood, the props of Nobility, and the foundations of the Throne” (p. 7); salutes the contributions of Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, James Otis, George Washington, and others; refers to Boston, Lexington, and Bunker Hill as “holy ground” (p. 12); comments regarding “the two great political rivals,” TJ and John Adams, that, though their “lives have usually, been embittered by injustice, and persecution,” they “have outlived the prejudices, which party animosities have excited against them; in their own time, the storm has passed by, and the last hours of their course are unclouded and serene” (pp. 14–5); hails the tide in favor of free institutions sweeping across Europe and South America; and rejoices at the progress of the arts and sciences in the United States, while lamenting the continued existence there of “the crying sin, the heavy curse of slavery” (p. 20).

Dunlap also sent John Adams a copy of his oration, which prompted Adams to reply from Quincy on 13 July 1822 that Dunlap had “made one mistake however. Jefferson and Adams were never rivals, it was Hamilton that was the rival of Jefferson” (RC in NNU: Fales Family Papers; in Louisa C. Smith’s hand, signed by Adams; omitted period editorially supplied).

Index Entries

  • Adams, John; political rivalry with TJ search
  • Adams, John; works sent to search
  • An Oration, delivered at the Request of the Republicans of Boston, at Fanueil Hall, on the Fourth of July, 1822 (A. Dunlap) search
  • Dunlap, Andrew; An Oration, delivered at the Request of the Republicans of Boston, at Fanueil Hall, on the Fourth of July, 1822 search
  • Dunlap, Andrew; identified search
  • Dunlap, Andrew; letter to search
  • Fourth of July; orations search
  • Franklin, Benjamin; praised search
  • Hamilton, Alexander (1757–1804); relationship with TJ search
  • Hancock, John; and American Revolution search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Books & Library; receives works search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; Fourth of July orations search
  • Otis, James; and American Revolution search
  • slavery; opposition to search
  • Washington, George; praised search