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Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791) To Mercy O. Warren

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01800.05 Author/Creator: Macaulay, Catharine (1731-1791) Place Written: Bracknal Berke, England Type: Autograph letter signed Date: April 1790 Pagination: 4 p. : docket ; 22.5 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Compares French and American revolutions; describes American government, America's future, and her expectation that wealth from commerce will inevitably hurt democracy and rob the people.

Background Information: Catharine Macaulay was a historian and activist in England's radical political circles. She became a frequent correspondent of many colonists and often met with those who came to England. Macaulay ...shared the colonists' updates of revolutionary activities. She toured the United States with her second husband, William Graham, from 1784 to 1785, visiting Mercy and James Warren in Massachusetts. They also traveled as far south as Mount Vernon for a ten-day sojourn with George Washington, during which Macaulay examined his papers relating to the Revolution.See More

Full Transcript: Bracknal Berke
Dear Madam April. 1790
I can very readily believe that [struck: the illegible very] discordant [struck: principles illegible] sentiments most at present exist in America on the subject of ...yr new Constitution and that I have the honor of [struck: thinking] agreeing much with the opinions of my sensible Friend the following observations on the [struck: different] state of [struck: illegible] things will very much evince.
It was easy I think Madam to foresee that the Americans from national prejudice and the power of habit would have an eye to the English Government in the forming [struck: her] [inserted: their] own plan and that they would endeavor to correct its abuses by pruning its [illegible] but the smallest error in the first principles of Government is attended with the worst consequences.
Whilst Agriculture continues the prime object of American industry and her riches as a Society are moderate she will enjoy domestic liberty in [struck: its] [inserted: the] fullest extent but as [struck: she has composed] [inserted: she has given] her Legislator [struck: has] a power to establish Offices to settle the quantum of Salary and to enjoy the [strikeout: m] emolument themselves when America becomes a large commercial state and riches pour in upon her from the Southern Continent the State of her security will be rendered precarious [2] For it will be an easy Maker to [struck: by] buy large sums upon her in the way of Mercantile import the power and pageantry of government will grow with the increase of the revenue and that the people will be both robbed and deluded The invidious distinctions of Aristocracy will be easily introduced and the more so from the Circumstance of the Legislator being divided into an Upper and a lower house [inserted: *see last page]
The French in the establishing their government had equally with the Americans an eye to their Neighbors the English but the vicinity of the two countrys furnished them with the opportunity of seeing the deformities of our government in their [struck: full extent] [inserted: due magnitude] and they have carefully averted the adopting any part of the english system but the only part which is worth having vis the mode of trial by jury
A Legislator independent of any undue influence from from motive of personal interest with sufficient power to sustain the ambitious Schemes of the Executive Magistrate appears to me to be the most perfect of all practical forms of Government and While the National Assembly of France keeps firm to the resolution of excluding her Members from any office in Administration France may bid defiance to the wiles of Corruption [3] I have just printed [struck: y] my [struck: observation] letters on education with my observations on truth revised I [struck: do my self] have done my self the honor to send you a copy of it
I have no thought of writing a history of the [struck: Fren] American revolution and wait with impatience for a sight of yr annals.
Mrs [struck: Gregory is] Mrs Gregorie is increasing her Family but she has one Daughter and another Child [inserted: is] a coming & she [struck: joins me in] entertains with me the most kind and respected sentiments for you [struck: and am Dear Madam with Mr Graham You and the Generals] Mr Graham is [insert: also] with me Dear Madam my and the Generals
More faithful and Obliged
Friends And Servts
Cath Maccaulay Graham
*A good Financier is a man who can in the most effectual manner fill the Exchequer with the plunder of the subject is the only quality that is regarded in this Country in a Minister but the difficulty of raising [struck: money] [inserted: illegible], or the people will ever be found the surest sign of liberty and the best guardian of it
Sept. 1789
Mrs Warren
Plimouth North America
With the answer
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People: Macaulay, Catharine S., 1731-1791
Warren, Mercy Otis, 1728-1814

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Women's HistoryLiterature and Language ArtsGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyRevolutionary WarFrench RevolutionMerchants and TradeCommerceFinanceEconomics

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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