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Gorham, Nathaniel (1738-1796) to Henry Knox

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.04588 Author/Creator: Gorham, Nathaniel (1738-1796) Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 17 April 1790 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 32.3 x 20.1 cm.

Summary of Content: Says he has been laid up for the past week with the gout. Discusses a proposed congressional bill to regulate proceedings with the Indians. Gorham wants this to be extended to the Six Nations, stating "it is of great consiquence [sic] that more Indians should be kept in good temper - The more Southern Indians made application to them last Autumn to joyn with them in hostilities - but after a long consultation they refused - More overtures will undoubtedly be renewed & if some attention is not paid to them they may be successfull [sic]..." Says his son plans on settling down in that part of the country and seeks employment for him. Also discusses the slow pace of federal congressional proceedings and a Quaker bill. Writes those who oppose the government, "are very often speaking of the slowness of proceeding in Congress - & comparing it with our own [Massachusetts] Legislature - & say that the advantage is infinitely in favor of the state Legislatures." Adds, "Friends to the Government in general think it most a most ill judged measure to make so serious a matter of the Quaker Petition about the Negroes - indeed to us, who are at a distance, it does appear surprising that the business should have been so zealously pushed... they ought to have avoided everything that would tend to irritate... the loss of the question for the assumption is by many attributed to this Quaker Negro business..." Noted as written in Charlestown, which is now a part of Boston, Massachusetts. Signer of the U.S. Constitution.

Background Information: Nathaniel Gorham, a Massachusetts judge and land speculator, had been a delegate to both the Constitutional Convention and the Massachusetts ratifying convention.

People: Gorham, Nathaniel, 1738-1796
Knox, Henry, 1750-1806

Historical Era: The New Nation, 1783-1815

Subjects: American Indian HistoryReligionRevolutionary War GeneralHealth and MedicalDiseaseCongressLawDiplomacyTreatyMilitary HistoryFrontiers and ExplorationOffice SeekerChildren and FamilyAfrican American HistorySlaveryAbolitionReform MovementAssumption of State DebtDebtPoliticsFinanceGovernment and CivicsEconomicsHighlight

Sub Era: The Early Republic

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