Rhode Island politics



Date Written

April 19, 1816

Member of Series

Gabriel Allen was 66 years old when this was written.
The recipient, William Barton, was 67 when it was received.

Gabriel Allen died 7 years, 11 months, 15 days after writing this.
It was written 207 years, 5 months, 4 days ago.
It was a Friday.

Providence April 19, 1816

Dear Friend,

I have been honoured by the receipt of your friendly letter of the 9th Inst. for which accept my sincere thanks—Day before yesterday was a busy day with us –you will see by the enclosed list, that we did our duty in this county generally, tho’ several in this town were unwilling to vote against Jones being members of the same church & every disgraceful measure was put in practice by our opponents. Mrs. Child (daughter of Lewis Park) who lay dead, were got sober enough to go to the town house after dark, & put in their votes!

The Republicans in the Interior town thought there was no chance & made no exertion, & many stayed at home for no other reason! Nevertheless the Republican gain in the state at large, was great, which gives a presage to a more important issue in [the] future but would now have been realized in spite of bank influence & every other unfair influence had it not been for the indifference & apathy of the interior towns—It is with regret that I learn that you are not wholly relieved from the thralldom of the lawyers, who (generally speaking) are a pest to society—may god give consolation & fortitude to support you and your trying afflictions.

Respecting the conduct of Mr. Ellery, I believe he has not been furnished with any other money but Treasury Notes, and that all the pensions are paid with them. I mention this, from a sense of duty, to you both—The complaints against the Gen’l Post Office are peculiar to that Department only—as all the Deputy Post Masters, are under the necessity to take the current money of the peace in which they live & as the Law knows no credit for letters they could not receive pay for letters in those notes—but they are made payable for Custom House duties & other debts due to the United States hence arose the speculation betwixt the difference of exchange in the Eastern & Middle States—

For instance, a draft was sold on me for a 1000 Dollars through the Granger Town Bank for 1160 to Dan’l Lyman which was 16 pct.; whether this difference of exchange was carried to the Cr of the north states I know not, but we have reason to believe that where there is much smoke there must be some fire. I have not seen your good son J. B. but the business shall be attended to without delay. He has done himself honour by his activity at the poles [polls]—Your goodness will, I hope, excuse me for noting in my last, the affair in R.I. when I took Lt. Clark, the reason was that there appeared to have been a pointed neglect in the commanding officer of the post, and I concluded that you might have [?] the cream stones, & that I might write you with more confidence on the subject, having been my commanding officer, than I could to any other, who are still living , & that you know better how to reward, where you found a merit far be it from me to detract anything from Capt. P. no one doubts his bravery , but everyone present were of opinion, that had he commanded the British to lay down their arms, before we chrg’d them, that every man would have instantly availed themselves of the opportunity & we should have Grot . the whole party off observing this neglect in Philips, led me to rush up & cut Clark off to save the reputation of the American Character. It is not praise that sought for in my address to you, tho I have a wish that the affair, tho small, should be put on its right footing.

I fear that I have already trespassed on your palaver, especially as I have written in great haste, & I am terrible I have committed many blunders in spelling, as well as in the arrangement, but I always think, that when I write to a friend formalities can be dispensed with----

Now in the language of David, may the Lord give us victory over all our enemies, and may we live to see the United States one & Indivisible Republic & be fostered with care, and protection of Heaven & bring [?] Happy. May her splendor enlighten & her wisdom break through the clouds of ignorance, bigotry, & superstition, till the whole world are happy & free is the prayer of—

Sir your real friend & H. Serv.
G. Allen

Wm Barton Esq

Scans of Letter