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Smith, Philander (1764-1824) to Jedediah Smith

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04601.06 Author/Creator: Smith, Philander (1764-1824) Place Written: Natchez, Mississippi Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 April 1811 Pagination: 2 p. : address ; 25 x 19.5 cm

Summary of Content: Writes to his brother in Massachusetts and sympathizes with his maladies. Informs that the family is all well but complains about the restrictions on commerce which if continued, threaten to hurt business in the Mississippi territory. The embargo has caused the price of cotton to go down for three straight years. Criticizes the administration and laments that many still support it despite its policies. " . . . it is a melancholy fact that four fifths of mankind are incapable of thinking for themselves and therefore become the instruments of the designing demagogue." Fears a war with Britain and explains that the port will suffer since it is so exposed. States he has had nothing to do with politics for three years so he will stop talking about them. Updates on the health and happenings of his family. States that although his wife is his second, she is still a good mother to the children. Gives regards and asks about Zebulon Smith.

Background Information: Jedidiah Smith (1726/27-1776), a minister from Granville, Massachusetts, left New England in 1776 with 11of his children. They became one of the first settler families of colonial Natchez, Mississippi territory. A ...member of the Smith family, Philander Smith, served as foreman on the grand jury trying Aaron Burr for conspiracy. The embargo he refers to is possibly the Embargo Act Jefferson passed in 1807 prohibiting virtually all trade but it was repealed in 1809. See More

People: Smith, Jedediah, 1752-1816
Smith, Philander, 1765-1824

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: Children and FamilyHealth and MedicalWar of 1812EmbargoCommerceMerchants and TradeBusiness and FinanceFrontiers and ExplorationCottonFinanceGovernment and CivicsGlobal History and CivicsForeign AffairsWomen's HistoryMarriage

Sub Era: The Age of Jefferson & Madison

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