William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Roberto Goodloe Harper Manuscript: Reflexoens sobre a questão entre os Estados Unides ea França , 1798
Philip Heslip, November 2009
Roberto Goodloe Harper manuscript: Reflexoens sobre a questão entre os Estados Unides ea França
Harper, Roberto Goodloe 1765-1825
This volume is a Portuguese manuscript version of Robert Goodloe Harper's popular anti-French treatise Observations on the Dispute Between the United States and France .
The material is in Portuguese
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
Roberto Goodloe Harper Manuscript: Reflexoens sobre a questão entre os Estados Unides ea França , William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Early South Carolina congress member Robert Goodloe Harper (1765-1825), son of Jesse Harper and Diana Goodloe, was born near Fredericksburg, Virginia, and grew up in North Carolina. At age 15, Harper joined a volunteer cavalry corps and fought in the Revolutionary War. After the war, Harper continued his education and graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1785. He was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1786 and was practicing in Charleston by 1789. He served in the State House of Representatives from 1790-1795, and was elected by South Carolina to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th United States House of Representatives as a Federalist (February 1795 to March 1801). Harper was an influential congress member and acted as chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means (5th and 6th congresses). While in the House, he was also interested in western land policies and was considered one of the most knowledgeable House members on foreign affairs. In the late 1790s, however, he became intensely xenophobic and vocally anti-French. His 1797 Observations on the Dispute Between the United States and France warned against the influence of French radicalism in America. The volume was popular enough to have multiple printings and was distributed in Europe and Great Britain. His xenophobia later manifested itself in his participation with the American Colonization Society, in which he had a leadership role in 1816.
After his tenure in the House, Harper moved to Baltimore, where he continued his law practice. He fought in the War of 1812 and attained the rank of major general. He served in the Maryland State Senate and was elected to the United States Senate for the term beginning March 4, 1815, and served until December 1816, when he resigned. Harper remained active after his political career, traveling through Europe and hosting European dignitaries in Baltimore. He died there in 1825.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This volume is a manuscript of a Portuguese translation of Robert Goodloe Harper's treatise Observations on the Dispute Between the United States and France (1797). The 280-page translation is entitled Reflexoens sobre a questão entre os Estados Unides ea França , and was created in London in 1798. The volume, which was popular on both sides of the Atlantic and received several reprintings, is pro-British and anti-French. It warns against the dangers of French radical revolutionaries and implies that France does not consider America a sovereign nation. It also outlines America's strengths in a potential war with France.
The Clements Library has several published editions of Harper's English version of Observations on the Dispute Between the United States and France .
The Portuguese translation was published in London in 1798.
- Diplomatic and consular service, American--Speeches in Congress--Early works to 1800.
- France--Foreign relations--United States.
- United States--Foreign relations--1783-1815.
- United States--Foreign relations--France.
- United States--History--1797-1801.
- United States--Politics and government--1797-1801.
- XYZ Affair, 1797-1798.
- Manuscripts (document genre)
Additional Descriptive Data
Miscellaneous collection: A letter from Robert Goodloe Harper to Benjamin Harwood, May 20, 1817
Miscellaneous collection: A letter from Robert Walsh to Robert Goodloe Harper, May 1818
American Science and Medicine collection: A letter from Robert Goodloe Harper to William Howard, October 4, 1814
John Holker papers: Letters from Robert Goodloe Harper to John Holker, May 13, 1820 and June 8, 1820; and from John Holker to Robert Goodloe Harper, February 13, 1812 and June 1, 1820
Andrew Law papers: Sam[uel] Andrew Law to Robert Goodloe Harper, May 6, 1794
James McHenry papers: Robert Goodloe Harper to Charles Pinckney, July 26, 1799; [James McHenry] to Robert Goodloe Harper, August 1 and August 24, 1799
United States Congress collection: Robert Goodloe Harper to [Joseph Hopper] Nicholson, February 3, 1801; to William Sullivan, December 21, 1797, February 6, 1798, September 15, 1804; to Stephen Van Rens[s]elaer, May 7, 1823
War of 1812 collection: Ch[arles] Carroll to Robert Goodloe Harper, December 17, 1814
Cox, Joseph W. "Harper, Robert Goodloe." American National Biography Online Feb. 2000.
Harper, Robert Goodloe. Observations on the Dispute Between the United States and France. Philadelphia printed. London: Reprinted at the Philanthropic press, 1797.