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Democratic Republicans Warn Against Federalist Resurgence in Wake of Embargo Act
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[MASSACHUSETTS]. Printed Circular, “United We Stand – Divided We Fall,” ca. April 1808, [Boston, Massachusetts], signed in print by “The Central Committee”; addressed to Col. Thomas Lincoln, Taunton, Massachusetts. 1 p., 8 ⅜ x 10 in.

Inventory #24499.05       Price: $450


THE duty has been assigned us at a very numerous meeting of Republicans from the various parts of the Commonwealth, to consult and correspond with our Fellow Citizens at the important elections of the present year.

We had flattered ourselves, that the last decided expression of the public will in our favor, would have so silenced the machinations of our political opponents, as to have rendered extraordinary exertions on the part of the Republicans again unnecessary, in this, however, we are disappointed, that spirit of opposition to popular forms of government, and those who advocate them, which displayed itself at an early period of our independence, and has since uniformly marshalled itself for this object, is neither dismayed by the frowns of a vast majority of the American People, nor terrified by the situation in which their intrigues have now placed our country, on the contrary, at the late Gubernatorial Election, it had the audacity to address itself to the fears and the avarice of the timid and inconsiderate, and by a kind of political necromancy, to subserve to its views that wise and prudent measure of the National Government—the Embargo....

The Central Committee having been assured that they can confidently rely on your zeal and ardor in the Republican Cause, and believing that it is the intention of the adverse party to avail of the present temporary suspension of commerce to impose on the credulity and fears of the weak and timid, by attributing wrong motives to the Government, and thus produce a change of men in the Legislature, earnestly request you would use every exertion in your power within your neighborhood, to counteract their designs, by checking every attempt to mislead or deceive the people, by cherishing correct principles, inculcating confidence and affection towards the Federal Government, and urging the necessity and importance of strengthening the cords of union between the National and State Councils; we have the highest reason to believe that the Federalists in Boston, and their satellites in other federal towns, have agreed to make a great and vigorous exertion to this effect the present year, under an expectation that the like idea of security which prevailed at the Gubernatorial election, and lulled the energies of the Republicans, may continue at the choice of Representatives.

Signed “Your Friends in the Cause of Republicanism, THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE.”

Historical Background

In early April 1807, Massachusetts Democratic Republicans swept incumbent Governor Caleb Strong out of office with a 3 percent majority and replaced him with Democratic Republican candidate James Sullivan. The Democratic Republican Central Committee urged all supporters to put forth the greatest effort to elect their candidates to the state legislature.

In the spring of 1808, Democratic Republican James Sullivan narrowly won re-election, but Federalist candidates took control of the state Senate. On May 2, voters elected members of the state House of Representatives, and Federalists regained control there as well.

Thomas Lincoln (1759-1836) was born in Massachusetts and joined Captain Snow’s Company in the Revolutionary War when he was eighteen years old. He was promoted to captain in 1791 and major in 1795. From 1805 to 1809, he held the ranks of lieutenant colonel and colonel. In May 1809, he was commissioned brigadier general and held that position until his resignation in 1814. He was a member of the board of selectmen from 1812 to 1821 and represented Taunton in the General Court in 1815 and 1816.

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