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Autograph Letter Signed by American Lawyer, Politician, Jurist and Author of "Hail Columbia" JOSEPH HOPKINSON - the Son of Declaration of Independence Signer Francis Hopkinson
1839 - HOPKINSON, JOSEPH. (1770-1839). American lawyer, politician, jurist and author of Hail Columbia. ALS. ("Jos Hopkinson"). 4pp. On a single folded sheet. 4to. Philadelphia, October 6, 1839. To a grandson of the secretary of the treasury and governor of Connecticut, OLIVER WOLCOTT (1760-1833). "On my marriage, in the spring of 1794, I rented a house but a short distance from that occupied by Mr. Wolcott. Our political opinions, our literary tastes, our domestic habits, were all in harmony; and between his dear and excellent wife and Mrs. Hopkinson, there existed a strong and sincere attachment. Mr. Wolcott was a man of cheerful and ever playful disposition; his conversation was interesting and earnest but gay, unless the occasion was unfit for gayety. He enjoyed a good joke from himself or another & his laugh was hearty and frequent. He delighted in the discussion of literary subjects, or the works of distinguished authors, & was particularly fond of poetry, indeed, I understood that in his younger days he was a poet. His domestic life was most exemplary. His devotion to the business and duties of his office was severe and unremitting. He possessed in a high degree, a very rare qualification, the capacity for continued hard work, and was, in every thing, systematic and orderly. His attachments to his friends were strong and lasting, never subjecting them to unpleasant caprices. He was open and direct in all his dealings, without duplicity or intrigue in any thing. His sincerity was sure, he deceived nobody. As to the 'time when he was supposed first to have differed with the federal party,' it was long before the war. It was believed to have commenced soon after the death of General Hamilton in 1804, and who was thought to have a strong influence over him. It was certainly open & known before the death of Mr. Ames in 1808. It was manifested by a strong hostility to the British government, arising out of or directed against their orders in general, and perhaps by old Revolutionary feelings; his resentment against them was much stronger than against the French decrees, as to which he contended that the British were the aggressors. Of one thing I am quite certain. Mr. Wolcott was a man of unquestionable integrity of purpose, but in his principle and conduct, he was an honest man. When he adopted a course that was a departure from his friends & his former opinions, it was done from a true and sincere conviction that he was right, and not with any view to a personal advantage." Joseph Hopkinson, son of the signer of the Declaration of Independence Francis Hopkinson, was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer. He was elected to Congress as a Federalist in 1814 and remained in Congress for six years, returning to private law practice until President Adams appointed him a federal judge in 1828. In 1798 a young actor named Gilbert Fox asked Hopkinson to write some words, preferably patriotic, which could be sung to the tune of The President's March. Fox wanted a popular song to use at a benefit he was arranging. Hail Columbia was the result. Hopkinson's reason for complying with the request, apart from helping the actor, were "to get up an American Spirit, which should be independent of, and above the interests and passions, and policies of both belligerents, and look and feel exclusively, for our own honour and rights." Oliver Wolcott, a close friend and follower of Alexander Hamilton, served as auditor of the federal Treasury while Hamilton served as George Washington's Secretary of the Treasury. When Hamilton resigned, Wolcott became America's second Treasury Secretary in February 1795. An honest and hardworking man, Wolcott enjoyed the confidence of George Washington and John Adams, but became embroiled in political intrigue stemming from his loyalty to his friend Alexander Hamilton, whose wishes he promoted rather than those of the chief executive. * All our items are sent via Federal Express. Additional postage may be necessary.
      [Bookseller: Lion Heart Autographs]
Last Found On: 2014-05-04           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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