ALS as president, one page, 7.75 x 9.75, April 7, 1799. Letter to Governor of the Mississippi Territory Winthrop Sargent. In full: “I have rec’d your friendly private Letter of the 8 of January and thank you for the interesting Sentiments it contains. The most acceptable Service you can render to me, and indeed the only Service that I can at present imagine, will be a continuance of your Activity Patience and Ability in the very important public Station you now hold. I congratulate you very sincerely on your marriage and wish you every domestic felicity as well as every public honor which your past Services have wanted. I thank you for the Strawberry Seeds, which shall be planted in the Garden at Quincy though I have little hope that they will there succeed as they did in yours.” In very good condition, with tape-repaired edge separations to intersecting folds, scattered toning, and old toned tape remnants to edges.
A veteran of the Revolutionary War, Sargent served as secretary of the Northwest Territory for ten years until Adams appointed him the first governor of the Mississippi Territory in 1798. Like Adams, Sargent was a Massachusetts-born Federalist educated at Harvard, and in his new post laid the basic groundwork for local government. This included dividing the land into districts—including an “Adams” county—establishing a court system, developing a militia, and adopting various rules and regulations. In Winthrop’s letters to Adams he expresses great pleasure in Adams’s presidency and a devotion to advancing the goals of his administration. Unfortunately, his allegiance to the Federalists cost Sargent his governorship when Adams was ousted from office by Thomas Jefferson in the 1800 presidential election, who made sweeping appointments of like-minded Democratic-Republicans throughout the nation. Presidential handwritten letters by Adams are scarce and extremely sought-after, particularly with this interesting political content. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.