Lot 5003: ALS, one page, 8 x 9.75, April 12, 1798. Letter to Moses Black concerning the XYZ Affair and defending her husband's actions in the diplomatic crisis with France, in full: "I herewith send you the dispatches from The Envoys to the French republic, and their instructions. The publick will judge upon them, with respect to the Intentions, there has not a person yet, been hardy enough to say, that they are not as liberal as their utmost wishes. Nothing more can have been conceded, consistant with the honor of the Nation, and the Independence of our Country, the publishing them, is like to produce here, a most desirable effect, that of union and harmony. I sincerely wish it may become general, that if we are necessitated to take up Arms in self defence, it may be as one people having one common interest at stake." Addressed on the reverse of the second integral page in Adams's own hand. In fine condition, with seal-related paper loss to left edge and a clipped portion to the second integral page.
One of the most outspoken women to serve as First Lady, Abigail Adams was known for her strong opinions on political and social affairs—especially those that involved her husband. In July of 1797, three of President Adams's envoys to France were turned away by Foreign Minister Talleyrand's agents who, on his behalf, refused to acknowledge them unless the US agreed to pay an exorbitant amount of money. While John Marshall and Charles Pinckney asked to return home right away, Elbridge Gerry remained for several months to build relations with Talleyrand. After redacting and replacing the names of the three French agents with the letters X, Y, and Z, Adams made the incident public in his report to Congress, opening America's eyes to France's offense and turning the spotlight on pro-French Republicans in Congress. Enraged by the entire situation, casting blame at Congress and Republicans alike for their galling French sympathies, Abigail Adams advocated for the nation to unite and be prepared for war. Touching on this important incident from the start of her husband's presidency, and wonderfully capturing her fiery voice, this is an exceptional letter from the nation's second First Lady.
RR Auction's Presidential Collection of Everett Fisher Auction 472
Thursday, 17th March 2016
Write a response...