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"WHEN WE SHALL SLEEP AGAIN IS UTTERLY UNCERTAIN" (PRESIDENTS--1800 CAMPAIGN.) Edmond, William. Letter describing the Congressional balloting to settle the 1800 campaign. Autograph Letter Signed as "WEdmond" to his wife Mrs. Elizabeth Edmond of Newtown, CT. One page, 14 1/2 x 9 inches, plus integral address leaf, franked by Edmond and stamped "FREE" on address panel; seal tears in margins, otherwise minor wear. (MRS) "Congress Hall," Washington, 12 February 
An eyewitness account of the young nation's first succession crisis. With the Electoral College in a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, the House of Representatives was tasked with selecting a new president. Balloting began on 11 February 1801. William Edmond (1755-1838) served Connecticut as a Federalist in the House, and wrote this letter to his wife after the first two days of balloting: "The duty of choosing one of the two highest then devolved on the House of Representatives & we immediately proceeded to our own chamber and began to ballott. Since that time the ballots have been taken and counted more than 20 times and every time the result has been the same, that is 8 votes for Jefferson, 6 for Burr & two states equally divided. Of course there is no choice & each state appears at present firmly resolved not to yield the point. How long this farce may last is uncertain. The only consolation is it must end on the first of March. The House . . . had resolved not to adjourn or to do any other business untill a president should be chosen, so that when we shall sleep again is utterly uncertain." Provenance: sold by College Hill Autographs of Providence, RI to the consignor, date unknown.
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