Front Page Titles (by Subject) THEOPHILUS PARSONS TO JAY. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 4 (1794-1826)
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THEOPHILUS PARSONS TO JAY. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 4 (1794-1826) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 4 (1794-1826).
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THEOPHILUS PARSONS TO JAY.
Newburyport, May 5th, 1800.
The Rev. Mr. Andrews of this town, intending to visit Albany, during a journey he is now contemplating, I have taken the liberty to trouble you with a line by him containing a short statement of the political sentiments of Massachusetts at the present moment, as our public papers will not give a correct view of them. Opinions, formed from the general appearance of our papers, in favour of the great prevalence of artificial sentiments, would be as unjust as, in fact, they are ill founded. The votes for Governor are generally returned, and it is now certain that Mr. Gerry is not elected; and it is extremely probable that Mr. Strong is. As our constitution requires a majority of votes, it is perhaps possible that there may be a few scattered votes, in addition to the number already known, which may defeat an election by the people. But my principal motive in troubling your Excellency, was to explain the motives, which induced so large a number of the electors to support Mr. Gerry, consistently with the great predomination of Federal principles in Massachusetts.
Mr. Gerry was believed to be a Federalist by one half of the electors who supported him. This opinion resulted from several causes. He was considered as an ardent revolutionary Whig. He had publickly professed the strongest attachment to Mr. Adams’ administration. The President had appointed him an Envoy to France; and it was reported and by some believed, that he approved of his conduct in that mission, and still continued strongly attached to him. The mercantile towns were also told that Mr. Gerry was educated a merchant, and consequently would promote the commerce of the country; that Mr. Strong, living in a remote part of the State, all executive business would be impeded by his distance from the centre of the Government. In addition to these causes another was also invented, that the legislature had recommended him, and had thus invaded the rights of the electors; and that to spurn at the commendation would effectually prevent any future invasion. Arguments of a very different nature were industriously and privately circulated among the anti-Federalists. They were informed, that Mr. Gerry was an anti-Federalist, opposed originally to the Federal constitution, and never after reconciled to it, that he went to France merely to preserve peace with our republican allies, that he would have succeeded had he gone alone, that he was opposed to war, to a standing army, to a funding system, was no stock-holder, was unconnected with commerce, and attached to the agricultural interest. An attention to the votes for senators, will clearly evince the fact that a great part of the electors for Mr. Gerry were Federalists. In every senatorial district, the anti-Federalists ran a rival ticket with great zeal and confidence. But in every district, except three, the Federal ticket had a majority, and, in most of them, great majorities. In Norfolk the anti-Federal ticket prevailed thro’ the influence of our general, the famous Heath; in the other two, from a division of sentiments, there was no choice. In Middelsex, where Mr. Gerry had the strongest support, and in which he resides, the Federal senators were chosen, when at the last election, from the prevalence of Jacobinism, the anti-Federal ticket had the greater number of votes.
I fear I shall be tho’t impertinent in descending to these minute observations; but our passions have been exceedingly engaged in the progress of the election and we are very apprehensive that an opinion, prevailing in the neighbouring states, that anti-Federalism was taking strong ground in Massachusetts, would give activity and resolution to a restless, desperate faction, to be found in every part of the Union. It seems, to have set up its gods in Virginia, whose reason and law, wisdom and patriotism, honor and integrity, are immolated upon their Altars.
The next election of President will be an important event. If I had not already imposed on your Excellency’s patience beyond all reasonable limit, I would state the views and intentions of the Federalists in the State, upon that subject. I will now only say, that a number of them have felt exceedingly hurt at the persevering plan of the new French mission, and have also been chagrined at the political importance the President’s nomination gave to Mr. Gerry, a man, who in their opinion, was undeserving of any public notice. The impressions appear now to be much worn out; and I believe that at this time the universal sentiment of the Federalists is, to support Mr. Adams, with all the activity and perseverance such a measure deserves. The Jacobins appear to be completely organized throughout the United States. The principals have their agents dispersed in every direction; and the whole body act with a union to be expected only from men, in whom no moral principles exist to create a difference of conduct resulting from a difference of sentiment. Their exertions are bent to introduce into every department of the State governments unprincipled tools of a daring faction, to render more certain the election to the Presidency, of the great arch priest of Jacobinism and infidelity. God grant that they may be caught in their own craft, and that shame and confusion may overwhelm these base plotters against the peace, safety and felicity of the United States.
As Mr. Andrews, who obliges me by taking charge of this letter, is very solicitous to pay his personal respects to your Excellency, I presume he will deliver it himself. I hope your Excellency’s indulgence for the trouble I have given you, and that you will please to attribute it to my anxiety for the prosperity of our common country, an anxiety which sometimes oppresses me, when I dare to look at what may be the fate of the United States. But your Excellency will not do me justice, unless by the persuasion that I am, with the utmost respect and sincerity,