Jun 21, 2018 - Sale 2483

Sale 2483 - Lot 48

Price Realized: $ 688
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 2,000
JEFFERSON'S ADMINISTRATION: "DECEPTION HAS BEEN ITS LEADING PRINCIPLE" PICKERING, TIMOTHY. Autograph Letter Signed, "T. Pickering," as Senator, to James McHenry, stating that [British Foreign Secretary Richard] Wellesley was justified in dismissing [Charles Cotesworth] Pinkney's criticism of the conduct of [British Minister to the U.S. Francis James] Jackson, claiming that President Madison was being deceptive when he addressed Congress about the power of ambassadors, suggesting that Madison's claims about Jackson ought not to be believed because he is as deceptive as Jefferson, reporting that the [Nathaniel] Macon bill may not pass, acknowledging receipt of letters from [Felix Leblond de?] St. Hilaire, and, in a postscript, adding that their mutual friend "W" in New York has lately adopted strange political views which his friends attribute to madness. 4 pages, 4to, written on a folded sheet; some loss at side edges affecting a few words of text, few short closed tears at sides, docketing written vertically in left margin of terminal page, folds. Washington, 17 March 1810

Additional Details

". . . The supposition . . . to account for the reported declamation of Ld. Wellesley to Mr. Pinckney, of his disapprobation of Jackson's conduct, is natural, and . . . undoubtedly just. But for my own part, I needed no solution whatever except this--that Ld. Wellesley is not a fool. . . . It is not difficult to discover that some men are defective in understanding; and that others . . . want common sense and political integrity.
"In his message . . . Mr. Madison plainly insinuates . . . for the purpose of popular deception--that 'minister plenipotentiary'--without any special authority, could . . . make a treaty, which should bind his government. This he would be ashamed to avow in explicit terms; it would make him a subject of ridicule among all men of information. . . . [I]n expectation that a people, whom Jefferson had found it easy to deceive for eight years, might continue the dupes of similar artifices in his successor--he was willing to hazard . . . the contempt which could not fail of being felt toward him by all the respectable . . . as far as the correspondence, subscribed by his secretary, with Mr. Jackson, should extend.
"The talked-of letter from Pinckney to Smith is . . . declared to be only a private one--consequently not the subject of a call from any member of Congress. . . . I learn that Smith has made himself extremely busy in reading scraps of it . . . to many members, federal as well as democratic. . . . Ld. Wellesley disapproved of Jackson's conduct; for that implies that our administration was in the right; and therefore that in the pending election in Massachusetts, the people ought to support the candidates who are ready to support the administration; With the same view, in respect to New Hampshire, Madison's shameful correspondence with old Gen'l Stark was had. Gen'l Stark was never capable of writing the letters now & for a year or two past bearing his signature; and at this time is a mere child.
"There is another answer to your question--'Which shall we believe?' Jackson or Smith. One we know is capable of deceit; against the other we can bring no such charge. From the view I have had of Jefferson's conduct . . . I feel myself warranted in pronouncing, that deception has been its leading principle. Madison was his 'zealous and enlightened co-operator' as J[efferson] himself has testified; and by his inaugural speech, explicitly declaring his approbation and veneration for Jefferson, is identified with him. . . ."