Joel Munsell collection  1848-1913 (bulk 1848-1866)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (23 items) contains 21 letters by United States politician Fisher Ames, including 17 letters pertaining directly to United States politics. From March 4, 1789, to June 3, 1805, he wrote to multiple correspondents about his experiences in the United States House of Representatives. Ames commented in depth on issues such as poor attendance during the legislature's inaugural session, the location of the national capital, sectarian disagreements between congressmen from the North and South, the presidential election of 1796, the First Bank of the United States, and the role and members of the federal judiciary. He mentioned prominent politicians such as Benjamin Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, William Branch Giles, and James Madison. In one undated letter, Ames advised the recipient to avoid a political career and commented briefly on the Embargo and the possibility of war with England and France.

The collection's other manuscripts include a financial document between Ames and Eli Pond, regarding board for a colt (May 30, 1783), correspondence concerning the Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts (August 14, 1797), an invitation to speak to a charitable organization (February 22, 1803), and the construction of a wall (October 22, 1804). Two portraits, housed in the Graphics Division, are engravings based on paintings by Gilbert Stuart and Alonzo Chappel.

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