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Cobb, David (1748-1830) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.05726 Author/Creator: Cobb, David (1748-1830) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 5 December 1792 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 23 x 18.5 cm.

Forwards Knox a journal pertaining to Cobb's survey for a possible canal from Boston to the Connecticut River. See GLC02437.05542 for the enclosed journal. Docket in Knox's hand states "Journal of the Journey in exploring the Country between Connecticut River & Boston." Also notes, "Our Elections this day are unanimous for the old King & his second, - partie influence has had no effect on the votes for the latter," referring to a meeting of the Electoral College, which elected George Washington as president and John Adams as vice president.

Cobb refers to the December 5, 1792 meeting of the Electoral College, which elected Washington ("the old King") as president and Adams ("his second") as vice president. At that time each elector cast two votes; the candidate with the most votes was elected president, the one with the second greatest number, vice president. Massachusetts, as Cobb indicates here, unanimously selected Washington and Adams, casting no votes for opposition candidates Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr or George Clinton. This national election reflected the emergence of a two-party system: Though Adams won the vice presidential spot, Republican candidate Clinton proved a serious challenger. (Cobb's comment is quoted in Arthur Schlesinger's "History of the American Presidential Elections, 1789-1968," Vol. 1, 1971, p.28.)

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