Entry  About  Search  Log In  help (navigation)
printable version

Elbridge Gerry to Abigail Adams

28 Dec. 1796

My dear Madam Cambridge 28th Decr 1796

The letter which you did me the honor to write to me on the 28th of Novr, inclosing the copy of one from the Hague, was delivered by a young gentleman who said it was from his Aunt Adams, & who left the room too suddenly to know his name or make an arrangement for transmitting an answer: but finding on enquiry that Doctor Welsh is your friend, I shall request his care of this, & that you will impute the delay to the true cause, the difficulty of conveying letters at this period without the risk of an interception

The subject of the letter from the Hague is truly important, but I flatter myself that the wisdom & moderation of the federal government will extricate us from our present embarrassments, by demonstrating, that they have been ever incapable of perfidy or partiality, & that such dishonorable suspicions are the result of misapprehensions or misrepresentations

The election of our friend I hope is sure, the only adverse chance is that which favours Mr Pinkney; & if he has the North Carolina votes I think he will be elected, there being every reason to suppose that the other four southern & western states will give him their support. I was more apprehensive of danger from this quarter than from any other, & before we proceeded to vote, the matter was fully discussed; so that if by her own votes, Massachusetts should bring into the chair a south-carolinian, of respectable character it is true but with little or no ex perience in the domestic politicks of the Union, & exclude a citizen of her own whose experience & station & qualifications in general give him the highest pretensions to the office, she will have acted with her eyes open & must blame herself for her impolicy. the fact is, as I am informed by a letter from high authority in New York, that a plan was there laid by a quondam Secretary to bring in Mr Pinkney & that it was confidentially extended thro the continent#. that letter was put into the New York post office on the 30th of Novr & was delivered to me at our postoffice the 14th of december, instead of the 7th when it was undoubtedly in Boston. had I then received it, I could have enforced the arguments for reducing the votes for Mr Pinkney, & have explained the motives of some of the electors who were for giving him a full vote. one of these confessed he had been conferring with a Senator & some members of the House of Representatives of Congress from this State, thro whose instrumentality this plan was undoubtedly communicated. I confess the conduct of that elector was to me enigmatical till I received the letter—

Mrs Gerry presents her compliments to you & be assured / dear Madam I remain with every sentiment / of esteem & regard / your friend and very hume / serv—

E Gerry

29th. seeing the votes of N Carolina, I think the election of our friend is no longer doubtful & heartily congratulate you on the event. If Mr Jefferson should be elected V. P. & accept the office, I flatter myself that a coalition of parties will take place, or at least that their virulence will be abated, for it has not in my mind a pleasing aspect

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).
This early access document should not be cited in formal research.
Please report any errors or problems you notice in documents.