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Providence Gazette, 1800-1801: George Washington’s Death, Contested Election of 1800, John Adams’ Opening of Washington, D.C., Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, John Marshall, Fries’ Tax Rebellion, Prosser’s Slave Rebellion, Barbary War, Napoleon, etc.
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[Newspaper]. The Providence Gazette, January 4, 1800 – December 26, 1801. Providence, Rhode Island: John Carter. Bound Newspaper Volumes. 104 issues, 416 pp. (4 pp. per issue), 11½ x 27½ in.

Inventory #24902       SOLD — please inquire about other items

A complete two-year run of an important Providence, Rhode Island pro-Federalist weekly newspaper, that captures many milestones, including:

George Washington’s funeral. Tributes orations including “First in war - first in peace -and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Washington’s will, and reactions on the freeing of slaves. 

Partisan maneuvering in Congress to decide how to count the vote in the Election of 1800. Vituperative political essays, including letters calling Jefferson an infidel, and warning that Frenchmen and Irishmen, “the refuse of Europe who have fled from the pillory and the gallows, and are here stirring up revolution, watching for plunder, and rioting in the thoughts of dividing up the property of the honest…” Electoral tie between Jefferson and Burr resolved on the 36th ballot by the House of Representatives.

John Fries’ tax rebellion in Pennsylvania, including battle reports, the three leaders’ death sentences for treason, John Adams’ last minute pardon and his general Amnesty Proclamation.

Gabriel Prosser’s slave revolt in Virginia. Congressional debates on bill to “prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place or country.”

America’s Quasi-War with France, including Embargoes, impressment, a naval battle resulting in a Congressional gold medal, the threat of a land war, and the treaty ending the undeclared war.

Reporting on Toussaint Louverture and the slave uprising in Santo Domingo. 

Congress convening for first time in the new capitol, Washington, D.C. Even then, N.J. takes one more shot asking to move the capital, offering Trenton instead.

John Marshall’s “midnight appointment” as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Congress passing Act “for the more convenient organization of the Courts of the United States,” which among other things re-set the number of Supreme Court Justices at five.

Thomas Jefferson’s famous Inaugural Address: “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Adams’ and Jefferson’s’ State of the Union Addresses.

The first Barbary War with Tripoli to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean.

The Roman Catholic Church crowns a new pope, assassins killed Tsar Paul I of Russia and Alexander I becomes tsar, Napoleon wins his first victories and rises to make himself Emperor. Battles are fought involving Britain, France, Haiti, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, Prussia, Spain, and many others, being fought across Austria, Italy, Egypt, Denmark, Ireland, and on the seas.

Plus pirates, Florida, finance, gubernatorial addresses from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and more.


Jan 4. Black mourning border due to George Washington’s death. Report on his final illness; details of his interment. “The father of his country, and the friend of man,” at Mount Vernon. Details of a meeting of the militia in Providence to mourn Washington’s death.

Jan 11. Senate’s letter of condolence to President Adams, and Adams’s response.

Jan 25. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s Funeral Oration on George Washington, coining the  phrase, “First in war - first in peace -and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” 

Feb 1  Coup of 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799) in France ended government of the Directory and brought Napoleon Bonaparte to power as First Consul. Printing Buonaparte’s Proclamation.

Feb 8. Partisan battles over the address of Declaration Signer Thomas McKean (M’Kean) as Governor of Pennsylvania.  News from a letter from Virginia on George Washington’s Will, with note at the bottom: “Mrs. Washington has announced, that after this year all the negroes are to be emancipated. According to the General’s wishes, the spirit of freedom has progressed, is progressing, and will progress…”  Feb. 2 article on French Piracy and Murder.

Feb 15. Thomas McKean Jan. 28 address as governor of Pennsylvania “Reply to the Answer of the Senate.” With a supportive “Dissent of the Minority.” Excellent content.

The army during elections: Report from U.S. Congress, Feb. 4. “Resolved. That a committee be appointed to bring in a bill making provision for the removal of the troops in the service of the United States, which may be stationed where an election is held, and that such removal shall take place at least two days previous to such election, and to a distance not less than two miles.”

Feb 21, 28  George Washington’s Will,printed over two issues.

“Item. Upon the decease of my wife, it is my Will & desire that all the Slaves which I hold in my own right, shall receive their freedom. To emancipate them during her life, would, tho’ earnestly wished by me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties on account of their intermixture by Marriages with the dower Negroes, as to excite the most painful sensations, if not disagreeable consequences from the latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy of the same Proprietor; it not being in my power, under the tenure by which the Dower Negroes are held, to manumit them. And whereas among those who will receive freedom according to this devise, there may be some, who from old age or bodily infirmities, and others who on account of their infancy, that will be unable to support themselves; it is my Will and desire that all who come under the first & second description shall be comfortably cloathed & fed by my heirs while they live; and that such of the latter description as have no parents living, or if living are unable, or unwilling to provide for them, shall be bound by the Court until they shall arrive at the age of twenty five years; and in cases where no record can be produced, whereby their ages can be ascertained, the judgment of the Court, upon its own view of the subject, shall be adequate and final. The Negros thus bound, are (by their Masters or Mistresses) to be taught to read & write; and to be brought up to some useful occupation, agreeably to the Laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing for the support of Orphan and other poor Children. and I do hereby expressly forbid the Sale, or transportation out of the said Commonwealth, of any Slave I may die possessed of, under any pretence whatsoever. And I do moreover most pointedly, and most solemnly enjoin it upon my Executors hereafter named, or the Survivors of them, to see that this clause respecting Slaves, and every part thereof be religiously fulfilled at the Epoch at which it is directed to take place; without evasion, neglect or delay, after the Crops which may then be on the ground are harvested, particularly as it respects the aged and infirm; seeing that a regular and permanent fund be established for their support so long as there are subjects requiring it; not trusting to the uncertain provision to be made by individuals. - 2

And to my Mulatto man William (calling himself William Lee) I give immediate freedom; or if he should prefer it on account of the accidents which have befallen him, and which have rendered him incapable of walking or of any active employment to remain in the situation he now is, it shall be optional in him to do so: In either case however, I allow him an annuity of thirty dollars during his natural life, which shall be independent of the victuals and cloaths he has been accustomed to receive, if he chooses the last alternative; but in full, with his freedom, if he prefers the first; & this I give him as a testimony of my sense of his attachment to me, and for his faithful services during the Revolutionary War.3…”

[Full transcript, as printed here, available on request. As noted, the Gazette did not receive the whole text at one time, causing it to print the will in variant order. The slavery provisions, for instance, are printed up front.]

Mar 8, 15, 22, Apr 5. Biographical sketch of George Washington, from Jedediah Morse’s American Geography, which did not credit author David Humphreys.

Mar 8. Congress passes bankruptcy bill. Letters and Reports to the Secretary of the Navy by Commodore Thomas Truxton, Commander of U.S.S. Constellation, relating his Quasi War battle with the French frigate La Vengeance. (The French vessel reportedly fired first, and attempted to flee, but was drawn in to a heavy battle in which she sustained severe casualties and damage, and struck her colors twice. Truxton intended to take La Vengeance as a prize, but was not able to after the Constellation lost her main mast. After repairs in Jamaica, the Constellation returned home to a hero's welcome.) A full list of killed and wounded is appended below.

Extract dated March 6 by way of Boston from Kingston, Jamaica, Jan. 5, 1800, reporting a Christmas day French plot to burn the city. The plotters were captured, and one was hung. “I am informed the leaders were those who were concerned in burning Charleston, South Carolina.”

Mar 22. Report from Mr. James Howe, who was on La Vengeance during the battle. She had on board 400 men, including 80 passengers, as well as 36 American seamen who had been taken out of prison on Guadeloupe and forced to work on board the ship. The seamen were ordered but refused to assist during the battle. “It was the number of passengers, with upwards of a million dollars on board, that made the Vengeance unwilling to come to action.” Howe reports that most of the passengers were killed in the battle.

Advertisement for a play in Providence, The World as it goes, or a Touch of the Times. Including a Eulogy to General Washington, and Chinese fireworks. Another for a dancing school.

Mar 29.  Printing full text of the new French Constitution.

Apr 5.  Report from Congress. A resolution praising midshipman James Jarvis, who lost his life in the engagement, passed unanimously. Another, to award a Congressional gold medal to Commodore Truxton, faced opposition, well reported on here. Despite the victorious result, Mr. Randolph opposed Truxton’s gold medal, thinking it was rash to have compelled a significantly heavier and better armed French ship to come to battle during a state of actual though not declared war. The medal was awarded by a vote of 87 to 4. 

April 12. Lengthy letter to France from the Burgomasters of the Free and Imperial city of Hamburgh, relating to captives handed over to the British, including a favorite of Napoleon. “Sirs. We have received your letter; it does not justify your conduct. Courage and virtue preserve states. Cowardice and vice destroy them. You have violated the laws of hospitality. – Such an event could not have happened among the most barbarous hordes of the desert. Your fellow citizens must forever reproach you.

The two unfortunate men whom you have delivered up will die illustrious; but their blood shall work more even on the hands of their prosecutors than whole army could have done.

            (Signed) Buonoparte.”

(Irish revolutionary Napper Tandy, having raised supplies and a ship, took possession of the village of Rutland, hoisted an Irish flag and issued a proclamation, but soon found that his expedition was futile. He fled to Hamburg, which despite being a neutral city, accepted the British government’s demand to detain Tandy and three other fugitives. In 1799 HMS Xenophon brought Tandy and associates back to England. On February 12, 1800, Tandy was acquitted in Dublin, but was kept in prison. In April 1801, he was tried for treason, pled guilty, and was sentenced to death. Due to Napoleon’s vigorous intervention, including making his freedom a condition of signing the Treaty of Amiens, Tandy was released. Napoleon’s support is vividly displayed in his response to Hamburg’s very solicitous letter here).

May 3. Extensive report on Trial of Thomas Cooper for Sedition, and guilty verdict. Conclusion of John Fries’ treason trial. Judge Samuel Chase’s charge to the jury, and guilty verdict. One ad was clipped from pages 3 to 4.    

May 10. Judge Samuel Chase’s instructions to the jury in Thomas Cooper Sedition Act trial, taking nearly a full page; Congress appropriates $5,000 to establish Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. April 20 report from Congress on progress ofBill to “prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place or country.” After a long and warm debate, the bill passed in the House by 67 to 5. (p2/c2, p3/c3). 

Report dated May 1: “In an island to the westward of St. Domingo is formed a band of freebooters, which will prove very dangerous to commerce, if not speedily destroyed. It consists of negroes, mulattoes and whites, who have retired thither with a certain number of well-armed barges. They conceal themselves amongst the trees, and keep watch upon the highest part of the island. When they perceive a ship becalmed… they massacre the crew, of whatever nation it may be, and bring the ship into the island. An English ship of 12 guns, was some time ago taken by these Brigands, and all the crew slain, even to the women that were on board.” (p3/c1).  

Brief note on sentencing of John Fries, Frederick Hainey and John Gettman to death, to be executed on the May 23rd.(p3/c3)

May 17. Justice Samuel Chase’s Observations on the sentence of John Fries, Frederick Hainey and John Gettman to death. (p1/c2-4).

Both Houses debate on the process to count the Presidential Electoral Vote. (p2/c1-2).

Report that House passed the Slave trade bill on May 2. “The fourth section enacts, that the commanders of the United States, where they shall be condemned as forfeited to the sole benefit and use of the commander and crew making such seizure, with all the property on board, the slaves excepted, who shall be set at liberty.”

May 24. John Adams Proclamation Suspending the Embargo. Report from Congress on May 9 that bills were passed, including “An Act to permit, in certain cases, the bringing of slaves into the Mississippi territory.” Debate on bills relating to the U.S. Mint.

May 31. Cardinal Barnaba Chiaramonti becomes Pope Pius VII (most of whose papacy was focused on dealing with Napoleon Bonaparte, but also became known for growth of the church in the United States, opposition to slavery, re-institution of anti-Semitic ghetto and the Inquisition. As the U.S. prosecuted war against the Muslim Barbary pirates, Pius VII declared that America "had done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christendom have done for ages.”)

Notice that John Adams had pardoned Fries, Gettman and Hainy.

Jun 7. John Adams’ May 21 Pardonand Amnesty Proclamation for Fries rebellion.30 men were tried for participation in the rebellion by German Pennsylvania Dutch against federal taxation. “Whereas the late wicked and treasonable insurrection against the just authority of the United States of sundry persons … in the State of Pennsylvania, in the year 1799, having been speedily suppressed without any of the calamities usually attending rebellion; whereupon peace, order, and submission to the laws of the United States were restored… and the ignorant, misguided, and misinformed in the counties have returned to a proper sense of their duty, whereby it is become unnecessary for the public good that any future prosecutions should be commenced or carried on against any person or persons by reason of their being concerned in the said insurrection: Wherefore be it known that I, John Adams, President of the United States of America, have granted, and by these presents do grant, a full, free, and absolute pardon to all and every person or persons concerned in the said insurrection … excepting and excluding therefrom every person who now standeth indicted or convicted of any treason, misprision of treason …”  After a forceful federal response, the rebellion was put down. Fries and two others convicted of treason were sentenced to be hanged. Two days after issuing this general amnesty, President Adams pardoned the leaders, believing their crime did not fit a narrow constitutional definition of treason. He later added that the rebels were "as ignorant of our language as they were of our laws" and were being used by powerful anti-Federalists to oppose the government.

[Wine]. Reprint from The American of  “Address of the Commissioners for the cultivation of the Vine,” signed by Timothy Pickering, Stephen Girard, B. Henry Latrobe, Caspar Wistar, Jr, etc.

July 5. Reprinting John Adams’ famous July 1776 Independence letters to Abigail Adams. “The following letter, written by our revered President, in those times which really tried men’s souls, we conceive ought to be annually published as long as American Independence is considered deserving of celebration…” This is in fact the merging of parts of two separate letters of John Adams, both sent on July 3rd, referring to passage on July 2 of the Independence resolution that Adams had pushed for. These were first published with various errors, including a false salutation, “Dear Sir.” It wasn’t revealed until later that the recipient was Abigail Adams.   

Philadelphia, July 5, 1776.  Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which was ever de­bated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony “that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.

“The Day is passed. The fourth day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward and forever. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue it, which I hope we shall not. I am, & c. John Adams.”

Jul 12-Oct 18. Reprinting series of 15 “Burleigh” essays predicting that Thomas Jefferson’s election would result in civil war. “The first proposition which I have to prove, is – Mr. Jefferson has long felt a spirit of deadly hostility against the federal constitution, and in conjunction with his party has been steadily plotting its destruction.” Warning thatFrenchmen and Irishmen, “the refuse of Europe who have fled from the pillory and the gallows, and are here stirring up revolution, watching for plunder, and rioting in the thoughts of dividing up the property of the honest,” would rush by the thousands “from their lurking places, whet their daggers, and plunge them into the hearts of all who love order, peace, virtue, and religion.”  (Fawn M. Brodie, in Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate Biography, p. 325, wrote that the Burleigh letters “topped every previous diatribe in vituperation and hysteria,” based on “the same fears that had motivated the Alien and Sedition Act.”)

Aug. 2. News of Florida from St. Mary’s, June 24. “Yesterday I received letters from my friends in St. Augustine, and on St. John’s river, giving the very unpleasant information of Bowles, the noted adventurer, having sent a large party of Indians, negroes and vagabond white men, to plunder and break up all the settlements in East Florida; that this party had actually crossed St. John’s river, and had commenced the plunder of negroes, horses and cattle, within twenty miles of Augustine; that the Governor of Florida had sent his orders for all the inhabitants of the country to remove their families and property into Augustine… There is also advice from the same channel, that Bowles had taken the Spanish fort of St Marks, on the Apalachecola, and killed nineteen of the garrison.”

(Note: William Augustus Bowles joined the Revolutionary War Maryland Loyalist Battalion at the age of 13, with the junior officer rank of Ensign. He resigned his commission after arriving in Pensacola, Florida, which the Spanish had ceded to the British after the French and Indian War. Leaving the fort, he was captured by Creek Indians. In 1781, while living with the Creek, Bowles convinced them to support the British against a Spanish attack at Pensacola. The powder magazine was hit by artillery fire, and many survivors were captured, but Bowles escaped with his Creek allies. For his role, Bowles was reinstated in the British Army, and sent to the Bahamas. British governor Lord Dunmore sent Bowles back to establish a trading house with the Creeks. Having done that, he was received by King George III as (self-appointed) "Chief of the Embassy for Creek and Cherokee Nations." In 1800, Bowles returned to Florida, which Britain had traded back to Spain after the Revolutionary War. With two schooners, and 400 frontiersmen, former slaves, and warriors, Bowles declared war on Spain. Spain offered a reward for his capture of $6,000 and 1,500 kegs of rum. He was captured and sent to Madrid, where he refused King Charles IV's attempts to get him to change sides. He escaped, commandeered a ship and returned to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1803, after he declared himself "Chief of all Indians present" at a tribal council, he was betrayed and turned over to the Spanish. Bowles, refusing food, died at Castillo Morro, in Havana, Cuba.)

Aug 9. Conspiracy theory relating to Alexander Hamilton. From Albany, July 2. “The late tour of General [Alexander]Hamilton to the eastern states, the ostensible object of which was, the disbandment of the useless army, it seems was not undertaken without another object, which it is of importance should be known to the people of these states in general. To make the necessary arrangements with certain friends of order in New-England to secure the election to the Presidential chair- not of John Adams – for with some folks he is no longer ‘the rock on which the storm must beat’- but to place Charles Cotesworth Pinckney at the helm of our national affairs.”   

Aug 16. “Some interesting Observations with Respect to the Fate of Louis XVII, late Dauphin of France.,” claiming that he was still alive.“A Most extraordinary rumor, which has been stated in a morning print, has occupied the public conversation. We give the article, without pretending to any knowledge, or offering any opinion on the subject.”

Oct 11. Gabriel Prosser’s Slave Rebellion in Richmond, Virginia. Lengthy extract of a Sept 13 letter from Fredericksburg; his capture in Norfolk.

Oct 25.  After Patrick Henry’s death, publication of George Washington’s June 24, 1799 letterto Archibald Blair defending Patrick Henry, who had falsely been accused of writing an infamous letter calling for Washington’s removal from command during the Revolutionary War. “Mr Henry had given me the most unequivocal proof whilst I had the honor to command the Troops of the United States in their Revolutionary struggle, that he was not to be worked upon by Intriguers; and not conscious that I had furnished any cause for it, I could not suppose that without a cause, he had become my enemy since.”

Nov 1  Execution of Gabriel Prosser and nine others in Richmond.

Essay of Clericus. "Thomas Jefferson, whom some of our citizens wish to make President of the United States, has had, ever since he was publicly know, the character of an infidel, deist, or an enemy to the christian religion." Reprinted from The New-York Gazette.

Nov 8. John Adams letter to Thomas Pinckney, Oct 27.

Nov 29. Gazette of the United States prints 1796 electoral vote by state, and its prediction for John Adams’ victory; Congress opens first session at new capitol in Washington, D.C. Report from Philadelphia of machinations respecting the electoral vote.

Dec 6. John Adams’ State of the Union Address (Annual Messageto Congress, Nov. 22);

“Immediately after the adjournment of Congress at their last session in Philadelphia, I gave directions … for the removal of the public offices, records, and property…. the public officers have since resided and conducted the ordinary business of the government in this place. I congratulate the people of the United States on the assembling of Congress at the permanent seat of their government…”  (p2/c 2-4)  Plus,Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott’s resignation. 

Dec 13. The Senate and House responses to Adams’ Message, and Adams’ responses to them.

Dec 20. “Rights of Women” poem. “The rights of women, says a female pen, Are, to do everything as well as men; To think, to argue, to decide, to write, To talk, undoubtedly- perhaps to fight: (For females march to war, like brave commanders, Not in old authors only, but in Flanders.) I grant this matter may be strain’d too far… I grant, as all my worthy friends will say, That men should rule, and women should obey: I grant their nature and their frailty such, Women may make too free, and know too much. Buts since the sex at length has been inclin’d To cultivate he useful part, the mind; Since they have learnt to read, to write, to spell; Since some of them have wit, and use it well; Let us not force them back, with brow severe, Within the pale of ignorance and fear, Confin’d entirely to domestic arts, Producing only children, pies and tarts; The fav’rate fable of the tuneful nine Implies, that female genius is divine.”

Dec 27.  Convention of 1800between the French Republic and the United States, ending the undeclared Quasi-War and terminating the 1778 Treaty of Alliance.  (p1/c2-p2/c4)


Jan 3. Results of electoral votes from all states except Kentucky and Tennessee gave a majority to both Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Reports from those states added 7 votes to each candidate, leaving them tied with 73 votes (forcing the choice of who would be president into the House of Representatives). Statement from a New-York Paper “Of the grounds of difference between the American and British Commissioners, under the 6th article of the British treaty…”

Jan 10. Trial, The People vs Olcott and Aborn, on an attempt to defraud the Bank of New-York.

Artist Benjamin West to Rufus King, on a proposed statue honoring George Washington. 

Feb 7. Nomination of John Marshall as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Senate 16-14 vote, four shy of two-thirds necessary to ratify, the Convention of 1800.

Passing Act “for the more convenient organization of the Courts of the United States,” which among other things re-sets the number of Supreme Court Justices to five.

Feb 14. Thomas Jefferson’s response to address from a Citizen of Berkeley, Sept 4, 1800.

“Men who think freely, and have the right of expressing their thoughts, will differ… The great question which divides our citizens is, whether it is safest that a preponderance of power should be lodged with the monarchical, or the republican branch of our government? Temporary panics may produce advocates for the former opinion, even in this country; but the opinion will be as short-lived as the panic….”

Feb 21. U.S. House of Representatives counts Electoral College votes in presence of U.S. Senate, resulting in a tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr (though people had voted assuming that Jefferson would be president and Burr vice president).

Feb 28. Election of Jefferson as President of the United States on 36th ballot, on Feb. 17.

Mar 7.  Aaron Burr report from March 2” “As to my disclaiming competition, no person could have supposed that I would have stepped in between the wishes of the people, and the man whom they have looked up to...” Jefferson’s responseto Congress informing him of his election.

Mar 14. Jefferson’s Inaugural Addressas President, March 4. “We are all republicans, we are all federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself?” (p3/c1-2).

May 23. Death of Tsar Paul I of Russia (assassinated, though cause of death reported as “an apoplexy”) and the accession of Tsar Alexander I.

Jun 20. First Battle of Copenhagen in War of the Second Coalition (with map), in which the British Royal Navy, led by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, forced the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy to accept an armistice.

July 11. From theBalance, a new Paper published at Hudson. “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand.” “Human nature is selfish and aspiring; and under a free government, where men may think as they please, and speak as they think, a diversity of sentiments will be expressed: and from the collision of individual interest, this diversity of sentiments will frequently produce keen animosities. This is an evil for which there is no remedy… It grows out of the nature of man under a free government; and there is no other alternative but a state of freedom, attended always with a degree of the spirit of party, and sometimes with violent animosities and commotions; or, on the other hand, the awful and death-like calm of despotism, where the discontented, and event he injured, are obliged to seal their lips, and smother their sentiments in their own breasts”

Aug 8  Address from Convention of (Slavery) Abolition Societies to the citizens of the United States, June 6, 1801.

Report on death of traitor Benedict Arnold in England. 

Aug 22  Toussaint Louverture promulgates new constitution, making himself governor for life of the island of Santo Domingo (Hispaniola) and abolishing slavery.

(Note:Haitian General François-DominiqueToussaint Louverture (1743–1803) fought for the Spanish against the French; then, when France abolished slavery, for France against Spain and Great Britain; and finally on behalf of Saint-Domingue against Napoleonic France. His leadership helped to transform a 1791 slave insurgency into a revolutionary movement. By 1800, the most prosperous French slave colony of the time, Saint-Domingue, had become the first free colonial society to have explicitly rejected race as the basis of social ranking. He restored the plantation system using paid labour; negotiated trade agreements with Great Britain and America; and maintained a large and disciplined army. Having defeated competing leaders among the free people of color, he created an autonomous constitution in 1801, naming himself as Governor-General for Life, against Napoleon Bonaparte's wishes. In 1802, he was invited to a parley by a French General, and arrested under false pretenses He was deported to France, jailed in roofless cell without sufficient food and water, and died in 1803. His achievements set the path for the black army's absolute victory over France. In 1804, his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, declared independence and established Haiti as a sovereign state.)

Aug 29. George Washington letter to Colonel George Planter, Oct 25, 1784

“It has long been my opinion, that the shortest, easiest, and least expensive communication with the invaluable and extensive Country back of us, would be by the river Potomack; and in this opinion I am not singular… But that this may not appear a scheme, or as an opinion unsupported by facts, I will give you the different routes & distances from Detroit, by which the Fur & Peltry trade of the lakes, even as far as that of the Wood [Lake of the Woods], must pass…

"Taking Detroit then… it appears from the enclosed statement, that the tide water of the Potomack is nearer to it, by 168 Miles than that of the river St Lawrence-or than that of the Hudson at Albany, by 176 miles.

Maryland as it respects the navigation of the Potomack stands upon similar ground with Virginia-Pennsylvania, altho' the Susquehanna is said to be an unfriendly water, much impeded by rocks & rapids, and disgorging itself into Chesapeake bay, have it, I am told, in contemplation to open a communication between Toby's Creek . . . and . . . the Schuylkill-the expense of which is more easy to be conceived than estimated or described. but a people possessed of the spirit of Commerce-who see-and who will resolve to pursue advantages, may achieve almost anything. In the meanwhile, under the uncertainty of these undertakings, they are smoothing (as I have been informed) the roads, and paving the ways for the trade of that western world, to their capitol-That New York will do the same, so soon as the British Garrisons are removed, which at present are insuperable obstacles in their way…

"I am not for discouraging the exertion of any State to draw the Commerce of the Western Country to its Seaports. The more communications are opened to it, the closer we bind that rising world (for indeed it may be so called) to our interests; and the greater strength shall we acquire by it… These when viewed upon a commercial scale, are alone sufficient to excite our endeavors; but the political object is, in my estimation, immense."

[Here, GW discusses how the back country of the U.S. is surrounded by other powers, leading to the possibility that settlers will ally themselves with those foreign powers.]

"The Western settlers-I speak now from my own observations-stand as it were upon a pivot; the touch of a feather would almost incline them any way-They looked down the Mississippi until the Spaniards (very impoliticly I think for themselves) threw difficulties in their way; & for no other reason that I can devise, than because they glided gently down the stream without considering perhaps the length of the voyage, & the time necessary to perform it in. & because they had no other means of coming to us, but by a long land transportation, and unimproved roads…

The crusty & untoward disposition of the Spaniards on one side, and the private views of some individuals coinciding with the policy of the Court of G. Britain on the other, to retain the Posts of Oswego, Niagara, Detroit &ca (which though they are done under the letter of the treaty, is certainly an infraction of the spirit of it, and injurious to the Union) may be improved to the greatest advantage by the States of Virginia & Maryland if they would open their arms, and embrace the means which are necessary to establish the trade-It wants but a beginning-the Western Inhabitants would do their part towards its execution. Weak as they are at present, they would meet us half way rather than be driven into the arms of, or be dependent upon, foreigners; the consequence of which would be, a separation or a war-the way to avoid both, fortunately for us, is, to do that, which our most essential interests prompts us to do; and which, at a very small comparitive expence, is to be effected. that is, to open a wide door to their commerce, & make the communication as easy as possible for their produce."

Sep 5. Start of First Barbary War. Bashaw of Tripoli declares war on the U.S. in mid-May.

Sep 26. Report from New York: “The season for the visitation of that awful malady, the yellow fever, has now almost expired, and our city has enjoyed as yet a remarkable state of health…”

Oct 3. Reports of surrender of Cairo, Egypt to English and Ottoman army.

Oct 17. Announcement of blockade of Tripoli. “Revival of religion” in the Western territory.

Oct 24. Connecticut Governor Trumbull’s speech of Oct. 9.

Russia- British Treaty.“Extract from the Copy of the Convention with the Court of London, signed at St. Petersburgh, the 6-17th of June, 1801.”

Oct 31. Report from China via Calcutta on the fall of the Chinese Prime Minister Ho-xen. Treaty between Spain and Portugal.

Nov 21. Preliminary peace treaty between France and Britain. Obituary of Benedict Arnold from British magazine.

Nov 28. Philip Hamilton, oldest son of Alexander Hamilton, killed in duel.

“In Monday, in consequence of a dispute at the Theatre the preceding Friday evening, a duel was fought at Hobuck [sic]between Mr. Philip Hamilton, eldest son of General Hamilton, and George I. Eacker, Esq; which terminated fatally to the former, who was shot through the body, and expired at five o’clock…”

Dec 19. Thomas Jefferson’s State of the Union / Annual Messageto Congress of December 8.  “Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.” This important first message contains his observations on Indian relations in America, the U.S. Navy versus the Barbary Pirates, the maintenance of armed forces, relying on a latent militia in peacetime while establishing the Navy and coastal defenses, the census and predictions of population growth along with “the settlement of the extensive country still remaining vacant within our limits,” decreasing the costs of government by removing unnecessary public offices, a laissez-faire approach to economics, the Judiciary, and taxation, foreseeing the removal of “all the internal taxes,” and stating that “sound principles will not justify our taxing the industry of our fellow citizens to accumulate treasure, for wars to happen we know not when, and which might not, perhaps, happen, but from the temptations offered by that treasure.

Dec 26. Egypt. “Political Reflections relative to Egypt, by J. Baldwin, Esq., his Britannic Majesty’s Consul General in Egypt.” Based on geography, and communications with Europe, Asia, America, Africa, South America, et all, “one hundred days may send her to the farthest corners of the earth…. the coin of all the world is current here.” Reviews his thoughts from 1780, fearing that England might have allowed France to take Egypt,“to purchase her [France’s]defection from America? The idea of recovering America from an uncertain state of the war, would have weight with England; but in contemplation of her East-India possessions, and the prospect of danger to these from the growing power of American, in any future contentions, ought to disposer her for such an accommodation. France would have nothing to fear from the resentment of America, because it must be the interest of England to deprive her of her strength. The accession of Egypt to France might be disarmed of its danger to England, by an arrangement which should secure the navigation of the Red Sea exclusively to England … The independency of America, or even an unrestricted trade, which has already been offered to them, are fraught with mischiefs to the interests of England. I, rather than grant them, would vow perpetual war with France: But this opportunity is gone: at the time I now write, America is independent. Let us revert to our text….  I believe there is an essential principle in the doctrine of power; it is another atmosphere: it can know no void … France, in possession of Egypt, would possess the master key to all the trading nations of the earth…she might make it the awe of the eastern world, by the facility she would command of transporting her forces thither, but surprise, in any number, and at any time; and England would hold her possessions in India at the mercy of France.”    

Resolution of New Jersey requesting Congress remove from Washington D.C, and offering the State House of Trenton for that purpose.

The Providence Gazette(1762-1825) was the first newspaper in Providence, Rhode Island. The weekly was established in 1762 by Sarah Updike Goddard, her son William Goddard, and her daughter Mary Katherine Goddard. John Carter, who had apprenticed with Benjamin Franklin, was the head printer. In 1765, William Goddard moved away, and Sarah Goddard and her daughter continued publishing the newspaper until selling it in 1768 to Carter, who also served as Providence postmaster from 1772 to 1792. The Gazette was a strong supporter of the Revolutionary cause and then the ratification of the Constitution. In 1814, Carter sold the paper. In 1825, it merged with the Rhode Island American.

Condition:Mostly very good. A small number of issues with losses, including a very few with advertisements clipped. The first Washington death issue is separated.