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Shurburne, John to John Langdon re: gloating over Republican victory in election of 1800

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06534 Author/Creator: Shurburne, John Place Written: Portsmouth Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1800/12/23 Pagination: 4 p. 23 x 19.9 cm

Notes: Sherburne is Langdon's brother-in-law.

Portsmouth December 23d. 1800
Dr. Sir
I have had the pleasure of receiving several letters from you, in none of which you acknowledge the receipt of one I wrote you soon after you left us, informing you of the continuance of Cushings action. I have engaged Smith in your behalf tho' he was prevented by sickness, from attending court, but will give his assistance at the next trial. Cushing has retained L & M who appear to me more influenced by a personal enmity to you than a desire to serve their client. They pretend to rely on a tender made by Hubbard for the redemption of the land taken in ex'on - when they say you declared that you held under the deed, and that if you hold by the deed, it is a discharge of the whole debt, but if by the ex'on, they in consequence of the tender are entitled to the land. I give you these intimations of the grounds of their action, that you may refresh your remembrance of the circumstances, in season for the trial, which will be in May next. I will now quit this subject to enter on one in which I believe your feelings as well as my own are more deeply interested. We yesterday received the glorious intelligence of the choice of Election in S. Carolina which we conceive places the election of the greatest & best of men [2] to the presidency beyond a doubt. Town & Country are electrified by the intelligence, I mean such of them as are real federalists, the situation & feelings of the rest, you can better conceive than I describe, but their chagrin is in a ratio to the late exaltation of their hopes - the spirit of despondency which had lately shaded the pages of our republican papers had exalted their insolence to an intolerable heighth [sic] - some, whom without naming, you will readily recognise, not content with extravagant boastings of the excellency of Pinckney, were unbounded in their abuse of his successful rival. It was difficult on receipt of the pleasing intelligence from Carol[ina] to restrain our friends from immediately & publicly exhibiting the most extravagant transports of joy, but tho at present we have repressed the tumult of feelings, as soon as we obtain the returns from all the states, we shall commence our system of retaliation - as our enemies on other occasions have delighted in the ringing of bells & the roar of cannon, & have often obliged us to hear the unwelcome sounds, we shall regale their ears with this musick, untill their hearts sicken at its notes. I believe no minority in any age or country has ever been so despised & oppressed, as the nominal minority in this country, under the present [3] administration. Tho' I should not wish to see them treated with the same insolence of office, yet I hope from past experience we shall gain so much wisdom, as never again to place it in the power of those immutably inveterate monarchists officially to insult & degrade us. Availing themselves at the close of the late war of the lassitude of the Republicans, the natural consequence of their exertions for our independence, the Tories by new & vigorous efforts, seized the reins of the very government we had established in spite of their utmost resistance. Thus successful they assumed the name & appearance of a majority, which in fact they never possessed, for daily experience convinces me, that had the channels of information been only as free as they now are, the virtues & talents of Mr. Jefferson would have been as much celebrated & admired in New England as they justly are in his native state. But to the very moment of election, the basest arts were unremittingly used to degrade him in the eyes of the electors & the public. Firnald of Ketting, one of the massachusetts electors, in passing thro this town in Boston, gave the most unequivocal assurances of his determination to vote for Adams & Jefferson - but the event was as I expected, he had not resolution to withstand the formidable phalanx of aristocratic influence. Two [4] others of the massachusetts electors it is said, were strongly inclined to a similar vote, but they lacked firmness to execute their wishes. As to our election, from the moment of their meeting they were beset by the whole family of Liv-s & as closely watched, as if there had been real danger of their reverting to republican principles. I have unwarily [illegible] this letter to a length that hardly admits my touching on the affairs of our own state. We are now preparing for the March campaign - Walker I expect may be induced to decline all pretensions to the chair - in which case we shall be able to give you a powerful support & contrary to my fears when you left us, I think with a considerable prospect of success - rely on it, no exertions will be wanting - & sh[oul]d we succeed, I hope past experiences will forever deter you from the folly of again assuming a conciliatory system, with a party that by this time, you must know are implacable. You may as well unite light & darkness as convert a modern federalist into a Republican. In a few days I will trouble you with a further details of our proceedings in the mean time keep us informed of what is going on at Hd Quarters.
With affection & esteem I am yr
Jn. S. Sherburne
Jn Langdon Esq.

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