American attorney, politician, and jurist (1746-1813) who served in the Continental Congress, House of Representatives, Senate, and was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1802. ALS, one page, 8.5 x 10, January 6, 1807. Letter to Samuel Henshaw, in part: "Strange as it may appear to you, and to you it cannot appear more so than it does to me, I have determined, at present, not to resign…You may be assured that no one has, upon this occasion, had more influence than yourself in the advice they have given they have sacrificed my honor to public considerations, may heaven forgive them—I have not deserved it. You have, by the conversation I had with you, been able to view this painful and disgusting subject, under aspects which before had not been presented to you. If from this or any other cause you should have altered your opinion, and believe that I cannot, consistent with my character…continue where I am…let me know it. Permit not your friend to tarnish a reputation which he has endeavoured to render spotless. This request, I hope you will think I am authorized to make, and earnestly press upon you a compliance with it. There are instances, I am sensible, in which it may become the duty of a good man to sacrifice his fortune and life to his country, or even to his party, but there are none which can demand a surrender of his reputation. When I was determined to lay my case before the world the resolution was adopted as the only mean of defending my character ag't the malignant assault of a bare and mercenary wretch, originating in the meanest and most detestable motions." Henshaw pens his response on the reverse, offering words of support. In very good condition, with splitting along intersecting folds, a short tear to the top edge, and seal-related paper loss to the integral address leaf. From the Collection of Dr. Lawrence E. Miller.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.