Our Collection

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.

Adams, John (1735-1826) to James McHenry

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01477 Author/Creator: Adams, John (1735-1826) Place Written: Quincy, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 April 1799 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Written as President to Secretary of War McHenry. Concerning Adams' interpretation of the Constitution concerning military appointments. Adams remarks "I never understood the Constitution. To suppose that the President has power to appoint Judges and Ambassadors... and not officers in the Army... is... very embarassing to the public service." Remnants of wax seal on address leaf. Docketed by McHenry.

People: McHenry, James, 1753-1816.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Keywords/Subjects: US Constitution, President Military History, Diplomacy, Judiciary, Law, Government and Civics

Sub Era: The Early Republic