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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Otis, James (1725-1783) to Catharine Macaulay

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01796 Author/Creator: Otis, James (1725-1783) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 27 July 1769 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Praise's Macaulay's "The History of England from the accession of James I to that of the Brunswick line" and her skill as an historian. States that "God & Nature...have been equally kind to both sexes" and it is only the "Tyranny of Custom" that keeps more women from rivaling men in art and science. At her request, he discusses American affairs at length, denouncing greedy governors, oppressive revenue officers, and the damage being done to commerce by seizure of vessels owned by loyal Americans. He exclaims, "Good God! This is British liberty & felicity with a vengeance." Criticizes the Townshend Acts, commenting on the problem of Britain maintaining North America as a dependent and refuting the idea that it could be done in perpetuity. Discusses colonial history.

People: Otis, James, 1725-1783.
Macaulay, Catharine, 1731-1791.

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Keywords/Subjects: Women's History, Literature and Language Arts, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Government and Civics, Taxes or Taxation, Law, Freedom and Independence, Revolutionary War

Sub Era: Road to Revolution