Vice President Letter

Autograph letter signed (“John Adams President of the Senate of the United States”) as Vice President and Presiding Officer of the Senate-Philadelphia. 14 December 1791 1 page. 4to slightly browned along folds, minute marginal repairs. otherwise tine. Enclosed in a half green morocco clamshell protective box with engraved portrait. 


An official acknowledgement that Adams himself a candidate for Vice- President has received a tally of Connecticut’s votes in the second Presidential elections held under the Constitution a vote which resulted in the re-election of Washington and Adams- Washington’s popularity had diminished little since 1789: Adams, on the other hand, had alienated many of the Jeffersonians and there was a concerted behind—the—scenes campaign to replace him with George Clinton of New York- Even Adams good friend Benjamin Rush “had so seen under the influence of Jefferson and his adherents that he joined the movement to replace Adanis.-2 (P Smith, John Adams. 2:830) Unaware that electoral votes from Connecticut were unanimous in supporting his re-election Adams writes: 

“Received from the hand of Enoch Parsons, Esq. a Packet certified by the Electors of CONNECTICUT to contain a List of their Votes for President anti Vice President of the United States.” 

In early November. 1792. electors were chosen from the fifteen states; some appointed, by their state legislatures, others elected by popular vote. On 5 December the electors cast their ballots which were formally transmitted to Congress. Iii February of the following year the electoral vote was tabulated by Congress. and Washington and Adams were officially declared re­elected. President Washington received 152 of the 264 electoral votes possible (each elector cast two votes). Adams received 77 votes from 10 of the 15 states, including all Connecticut’s ballots. No more than fifteen receipts like the present would have been written by Adams (one per state).

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

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