ADAMS, SAMUEL. 1722-1803. Letter Signed ("Saml Adams"), 2 pp, 4to (328 x 203 mm), [Boston], October 9th, 1793, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, being a circular letter arguing for "the first principles of a federal government,"
Lot 122
ADAMS, SAMUEL. 1722-1803.
Letter Signed ("Saml Adams"), 2 pp, 4to (328 x 203 mm), [Boston], October 9th, 1793, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, being a circular letter arguing for "the first principles of a federal government,"
Sold for US$ 17,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
ADAMS, SAMUEL. 1722-1803. Letter Signed ("Saml Adams"), 2 pp, 4to (328 x 203 mm), [Boston], October 9th, 1793, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, being a circular letter arguing for "the first principles of a federal government," ADAMS, SAMUEL. 1722-1803. Letter Signed ("Saml Adams"), 2 pp, 4to (328 x 203 mm), [Boston], October 9th, 1793, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, being a circular letter arguing for "the first principles of a federal government," ADAMS, SAMUEL. 1722-1803. Letter Signed ("Saml Adams"), 2 pp, 4to (328 x 203 mm), [Boston], October 9th, 1793, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, being a circular letter arguing for "the first principles of a federal government,"
ADAMS, SAMUEL. 1722-1803.
Letter Signed ("Saml Adams"), 2 pp, 4to (328 x 203 mm), [Boston], October 9th, 1793, to Samuel Huntington, Governor of Connecticut, being a circular letter arguing for "the first principles of a federal government," written on his first day as Governor, including contemporary manuscript of the resolution of the Massachusetts General Court after John Hancock's speech, dated "In Senate Septr 23, 1793," and signed by John Avery as a "true copy," 2 pp, 4to, and an autograph note from the Connecticut House appointing a committee to address the concern, all three with light toning at margins, and trimmed, old tab to second document.

"...the power claimed, if once established, will extirpate the federal principle...."

IMPORTANT SAMUEL ADAMS LETTER TO THE GOVERNORS LEADING DIRECTLY TO THE 11TH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION. In the earliest significant decision of the newly formed United States Supreme Court, Chisholm v. Georgia, the court recognized the standing of an individual to sue a sovereign state in federal court. Soon after, former loyalist William Vassall brought suit in federal court against the state of Massachusetts. The state under Governor John Hancock refused to appear, and rather than allow the Supreme Court to follow the Precedent set forth in Chisholm, Hancock called an emergency session of the Legislature. On September 18, 1793, he gave his famous speech defending state sovereignty, which was followed up on by a Resolution in the legislature on September 23rd, 1793, to take up the cause to "obtain such amendments in the Constitution..." which would compel a state to answer in federal court. When Hancock died two weeks later on October 8th, with nothing having been done, the new Governor Samuel Adams immediately took up the cause, sending on his first day in office a circular letter to the governors arguing for "a principle of national government, in which, each state in the Union is equally interested." Meant to accompany copies of the September 23rd Resolution and Hancock's speech, the letter offered Adams the opportunity to make his own argument, which he did with great skill, essentially, "the support of the federal government is an object of high importance in the mind of every true friend of the Union; but it is easily discerned, that the power claimed, if once established, will extirpate the federal principle, and procure a consolidation of all governments."
Having received the letter, many states, like Connecticut as indicated in the note present here, formed committees to examine the courts decision and the Massachusetts argument. "The position staked out by Massachusetts and Adams was both bipartisan and popular. Many Federalists... thought the Supreme Court had gone too far in its Chisholm decision. As a result Congress acted quicklyl on March 4th, 1794, it recommended that the Constitution be amended" (Alexander). The 11th Amendment to the Constitution was approved by the necessary states by February of the following year, although not formally certified until 1798.
An important and influential letter from signer and founding father Samuel Adams, cutting to the heart of the early arguments of states rights. A copy of this circular, to Governor Joshua Clayton of Delaware, without accompanying Resolution, sold at Christie's, New York, in May 1991 for $7,000. Cf. Alexander, John K. Samuel Adams: The Life of a Revolutionary, London, 2011.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $250,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $250,001 to $4,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12.5% on the excess over $4,000,001 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Ian Ehling
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 644 9094
Similar Items