Discussion of the Brunswick Convention

Date Written

Nov. 24, 1816

Samuel Ayers Bradley was 42 years old when this was written.
The recipient, John Stuart Barrows, was 25 when it was received.

Samuel Ayers Bradley died 27 years, 10 months,
It was written 202 years, 9 months, 23 days ago.
It was a Sunday.

Boston
Nov 24 1816

Dear Barrows,

Your letter of the 16th of this month, which I have rec’d commences by presuming me to be “deeply engaged in legislating”—altho’ “deeply engaged” I have not, as yet, troubled myself much with the ordinary business of legislation—I am resolved to have that to the ordinary & extraordinary numbers who are willing to attend to it, until the question of reparation shall have been disposed of—the appreciation of the Brunswick Convention Committee, Paris, Davis, Preble, & Chandler, together with the numerous petitions, memorials, remonstrances, & all other papers on this subject, have been referred as you will perceive by the newspapers to the Committee, who reported the separation act—this was done at the instance of the Speaker of the House & President of the Senate, & would seem to auger mischief-we are to be heard before this committee tomorrow afternoon (Monday Nov 25) when we shall probably give the subject a short discussion. I have the misfortune to be appointed by the anti-separatists or more properly speaking, the friends of union, to close the discussion on our part—

I was not present when I was appointed, or I should have declined this dreadful task—as it is, I shall endeavor to do my duty. I have no doubt you have attended and will continue to attend such business in the office, as may fall in your way. I hope you will examine and re-examine all the small demands on hand & push them, as fast as possible, to a close.

You will probably expect me to say something free there on the subject of separation. I am entirely unable to form any satisfactory opinion, as to the course, the business will eventually take—I shall be much disappointed if the legislature should hesitate to put a period to the convention and all its works. But I am not without my fears, that mischief is yet to be done to us, by those whom we have a right to expect and require better things—but all the bright visions of my childhood remitting from confidence in the integrity & virtues of mankind have been gradually receding before the monster whom experience has introduced to my notice. Avarice, ambition, and an unhallowed desire to rule predominate in this little world of ours, and those who confide in the practical existence of a noble disinterested virtue & sense of Justice to repel these unhallowed invaders of human rights, official enjoyment must as I fear, be painfully disappointed—the conduct of the two political parties in this state confirms me in the correctness of my sentiments on this subject, if I had not had the history of the world & the experience of all ages in support of it. Our virtuous committee may report a repeal of that provision of the law requiring the ratio of 5 to 4, & recommend the consent of the legislature to a reparation in the present state of votes, or they may advise a new trial and give their consent on the obtaining of a majority of one vote; or they may advise the calling a new convention, and authorize them to proud to form a constitution if there should be a majority of the new convention in favor of separation—or—they may advise to the annihilation of the famed Brunswick Convention, the repeal of the separation-law and inexpediency of legislating further on the subject for the present; this last course is certainly better than I expect of them.

Please to inform our friend R. Page Esq. that W Lloyd has been gone for some time to Philadelphia, & I have not yet heard from him on the subject of lands; you can give the same information to all other applicants for lands—You will perceive I have not much room left for your care in Chancery. I have tried a number, but never found them worth the expense of the evidence and trouble of the investigation—if you lose, you will only be naked, if you win you will only be in rags -but those who value the rags must pursue them—my maxim, you know is “patience & perseverance accomplish all things.”—I shall call on Messrs. F & R & inform them of your correspondence with the [?] J. D. It is highly probable our friend W. P. is elected by a very lean majority; but we are not yet certain of the fact. Possibly he is not elected. Your Father is well in great haste, your Friend

Samuel A. Bradley

Tell R. Page Esq. to take care to demand payment in [?] of the [?] in his hands & make return of the parts of his demand of the refund.

Scans of Letter