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Sale 2492 Lot 212
"BUONAPARTE'S DISASTERS PRODUCE A VISIBLE EFFECT HERE" DANIEL WEBSTER. Autograph Letter Signed, "D. Webster," as Representative, to Isaac R. Davis, sending an open letter for the New England papers warning of impending conscription [not present], reporting that a recent fire destroyed his home but left his family unharmed, explaining that the news of Napoleon's aggressions has caused a schism in the government between pro-war and pro-peace factions, and remarking that President Madison is waiting to see which faction the Party favors. 3 pages, 4to, written on two sheets; silked on first and terminal pages, small hole in upper margin of first leaf affecting few letters, slight fading to text and signature, faint scattered soiling, folds. [Washington], 6 January 1814
Estimate $800 - 1,200
"Please hand this to Ed[itor of the] Centinel, or of other Paper. . . . My object is merely to alarm N[ew] England at the project of Conscription or Compulsory Draughts; a measure . . . at the White House.
"Our Town has met with another Conflagration. . . . When I found nothing lost, but house and property . . . I felt relieved from distress.
". . . [M]y houseless Family have found a good shelter for the winter. . . .
"The great news from Europe comes seasonally . . . . We have all been in danger of worse evils than burnings, & exposed to a foe more merciless than all the elements. I trust Providence has delivered us. Buonaparte's disasters produce a visible effect here. The Administration seems to be appalled. It seems . . . to be suspending its war measures, . . . to ascertain whether the voice of the Party is still for war. There are evident symptoms of schisms in the Cabinet, & in the Party, in Congress. . . . [T]hose who are still for war, say there is nothing in the dispatches; those who begin to grow sick of it, affect to see new evidences of a Pacific disposition on the part of England . . . . Madison has not yet determined, whether he had now better break off his French connexions, give up his War, & make peace with the best grace he can, or again rally his friends, & put forth all efforts to do something next Campaign. He is waiting to see which way the Party, generally, incline. . . ."
From the Collection of William Wheeler III.