Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Fessenden, William Pitt (1806-1869) to Thurman Fessenden, John Underwood, and Samuel Tisdale

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01465 Author/Creator: Fessenden, William Pitt (1806-1869) Place Written: Portland, Maine Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 December 1840 Pagination: 2 p. ; 24.5 x 20.2 cm.

Fessenden, Maine Senator-Elect, thanks members of the New England Society of the City of New York for an invitation to attend the Society's anniversary on 22 December 1840. Declines the invitation, which commemorated the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Offers these sentiments on the anniversary: "The spirit of the Pilgrims- Trust in God, and unwavering constancy of purpose. With that spirit our Country's liberties were won. Without it they cannot be preserved."

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