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Collection Reference Number GLC04601.06
From Archive Folder Collection of 15 items related to the Mississippi territory, the Smith family, and the treason trial of Aaron Burr 
Title Philander Smith to Jedediah Smith regarding family matters and business activities in the Mississippi territory
Date 23 April 1811
Author Smith, Philander (ca. 1764-1824)  
Recipient Smith, Jedediah  
Document Type Correspondence
Content Description Writes to his brother in Massachusetts and sympathizes with his maladies. Informs that the family is all well but complains about the restrictions on commerce which if continued, threaten to hurt business in the Mississippi territory. The embargo has caused the price of cotton to go down for three straight years. Criticizes the administration and laments that many still support it despite its policies. " . . . it is a melancholy fact that four fifths of mankind are incapable of thinking for themselves and therefore become the instruments of the designing demagogue." Fears a war with Britain and explains that the port will suffer since it is so exposed. States he has had nothing to do with politics for three years so he will stop talking about them. Updates on the health and happenings of his family. States that although his wife is his second, she is still a good mother to the children. Gives regards and asks about Zebulon Smith.
Subjects Children and Family  Health and Medical  War of 1812  Embargo  Commerce  Merchants and Trade  Business and Finance  Frontiers and Exploration  Cotton  Finance  Government and Civics  Global History and Civics  Foreign Affairs  Women's History  Marriage  
People Smith, Jedediah (1752-1816)  Smith, Philander (ca. 1764-1824)  
Place written Natchez, Mississippi
Theme Children & Family; Health & Medicine; War of 1812; Merchants & Commerce; Government & Politics; Foreign Affairs; Women in American History
Sub-collection The Gilder Lehrman Collection, 1493-1859
Additional Information Jedidiah Smith (1726/27-1776), a minister from Granville, Massachusetts, left New England in 1776 with 11of his children. They became one of the first settler families of colonial Natchez, Mississippi territory. A member of the Smith family, Philander Smith, served as foreman on the grand jury trying Aaron Burr for conspiracy. The embargo he refers to is possibly the Embargo Act Jefferson passed in 1807 prohibiting virtually all trade but it was repealed in 1809.
Copyright The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Module Settlement, Commerce, Revolution and Reform: 1493-1859