Adams, Charles Francis (1807-1886) to Edward Augustus Stansbury
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03863
Author/Creator: Adams, Charles Francis (1807-1886)
Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 2 January 1851
Pagination: 3 p. ; 25.1 x 19.9 cm.
Summary of Content: Adams writes to Stansbury, editor of the ”Free Soil Courier” in Burlington, Vermont. Attests ”the report of what I said at the Convention in the eighth District, which nominated Mr. Mann, is misrepresented, as every thing is misrepresented which comes from the free soil men” (possibly referring to Horace Mann). Seeks to explain his position to Stansbury, arguing that he did not denounce the Democratic Party, but ”I did intimate very distinctly that with the other class in both parties, the old, resolute, proslavery set, who consider the maintenance of the country to depend upon the cessation of agitation, I could have no communion.” In further reflection, writes, ”Really it would seem as if in America nothing is to be regarded as National but Slavery- and every obstacle to its perpetuation over the entire colored race is to be considered as unconstitutional and treasonable... instead of advancing in our notions of Liberty and Law since we became a people, we have been steadily going back to the doctrines of despotism... And all this, we are told is to sustain a Union intended to secure the blessings of freedom!”
People: Adams, Charles Francis, 1807-1886., Stansbury, Edward Augustus, 1811-1873., Mann, Horace, 1796-1859.
Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860
Full Transcript: [draft] [excerpt], ... in America nothing is to be regarded as national but Slavery - and every obstacle to its prepetuation over the entire colored race is to be considered as unconstitutional and treasonable - The most astonishing thing of all to witness is the flexibility of senility, and the ingenuity with which every new step of the dictator is excused even when nobody dares justify it. Surely, surely instead of advancing in our notions of Liberty and Law since we became a people, we have been steadily going back to the doctrines of despotism. There is nothing in the writings of Filmer and Hobbes, nothing in the action of Stafford and Laird which goes beyond the teachings of many of the clergy. And all this, we are told is to sustain a Union intended to secure the blessings of freedom?...”Whatever she may have in store, I trust your brother of the Free Press may never have any thing more discreditable to say of me than that I am ’the last Adams.’
Keywords/Subjects: Politics;, Election;, Government and Civics;, Democratic Party;, Slavery;, African American History;, Treason;, US Constitution;, American Statesmen;, Freedom and Independence;, Liberty;, Law;
Sub Era: Age of Jackson
Background: Adams, the son of John Quincy Adams, served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 1859-1862. He was the unsuccessful candidate of the Free-Soil Party for Vice President of the United States in 1848.
LOC Search Terms: Slavery--United States., Constitution--United States., United States. Constitution.Order Image