Political + Historic Letter to WILLIAM SHEPARD
Historic Letter Regarding The “Revolution in the Great (French) Nation” To Major General William Shepard. (WILLIAM SHEPARD), Massachusetts Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Shay’s Rebellion Era Major General and Congressman.. Letter of Political and Historic Importance to General Shepard From Samuel Henshaw, dated February 7, 1800, Philadelphia, PA, 12.5” x 7.5”, 2 pages, on laid paper and written in brown ink, Very Fine. Henshaw addresses the letter to General William Shepard “in Congress” on the integral (self-made envelope), and writes about the building he just constructed, the new order in France, and inquires about his health He also discusses the upcoming election for Governor, with Mr. Strong as a candidate. A small hole caused by the original wax seal with minor foxing; overall text is still dark and precise. The remnants of the red wax seal are still visible, and the original creases do not detract from the text whatsoever. This letter reads, in full:“Hon.(ble) W.(m) Shepard Esq(uir)e, Northampton Feb. 7, 1800 -- I thank you my Friend, for your sympathizing letter of the 25th inst. The loss of my Tanworks is very heavy. They were undoubled by the largest & best accommodated for business of any in America. The Centre building was 200 feet, and each wing 50 feet, in length, & each two story high, beside the roof. Tanning and currying could be carried on in those buildings almost as well in the winter as in the Summer. Altho the misfortune has happened in this inclement season of the year, yet the weather has, blessed be God, been so favourable, & my friends so spirited, that, in three weeks after the fire, I have been able to rebuild 150 feet, and the business is now going on therein as usual. My Neighbours, God bless them! in one single day cut in the forest & dragged to the spot timber for the whole works. My Gratitude, I hope, will ever be equal to their benevolent exertions. Your congratulation on my appointment to the Common Pleas, is very polite; & your hopes, I believe, will be realized. There should be one, at least, to keep watch while the rest sleepeth. I rejoice very much to hear of your health, and hope you will continue to enjoy the rich blessing. Without it, man is but a poor creature. With it, he may be happy, if he will but be virtuous. What is the current opinion among our Sages at Philadelphia, respecting the new order of things in France? Some begin to think that the President had a prescience of these events. And sent on the Envoys to be in time to take advantage of them. We shall know more about it a few months hence. It is clever, however, in the mean time, to see people looking wise & guessing. And gravely telling you that they survived something like the present Revolution in the Great Nation would soon take place. And that after Bonaparte had re-turned from Egypt, they were sure he would assume the rein of Government. &c. &c. &c. ‘Vain man would be though wife’! I believe Mr. Strong will have more votes for Governor than any other man in the state, yet I much doubt of his being chosen by the people. Should he be a prominent Candidate, the two Branches will elect him. I am, Sir, with great regard your obedient humble servant, Samuel Henshaw”.