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Massachusetts Requests Grain from New York, February 15, 1779

Letter from Massachusetts requesting assistance with grain and provisions

Letter from Massachusetts requesting assistance with grain and provisions

New York State Archives, NYSA_A0142-77_2098
 
Document Description
Letter to New York Governor George Clinton requesting grain or flour from the Province of Massachusetts Bay Council President Jeremiah Powell, February 15, 1779.
 
Transcription
State of Massachusetts Bay
                                                            Council Chamber Boston February 15, 1779
Sir,
We wrote to your state a few days since in forming of our application to Congress relative to the embargo, the scarcity of provisions with us more especially of grain together with the causes thereof earnestly requesting that friendly aid and assistance herein which we trust the Sister States will be ever ready to grant to the mutual comfort and advantage of each other. We have since directed the Board of War of this state to import grain or flour from your state provided we may be permitted so to do; which favor, if we may be so happy as to obtain, we shall feel peculiar obligation at this time, and be ready on our part, at all times, to reciprocal acts of friendship and benevolence and we flatter ourselves that the late conduct of this state in similar case, will be a sufficient apology for our present appreciation.
                                                In the name and behalf of the general court
                                                            I am,
                                                                        With great esteem,
His Excellency                                                Sir,
George Clinton Esq.                                      Your most obedient and able servant
Governor of                                                               Jer. Powell President
New York                                                                  
 
 
Questions
Who is writing to whom and when?
 
How does the tone suggest the intent?
 
What are the issues involved?
 
 
Historical Challenges
Create a list of issues surrounding the land dispute in Vermont and New York and then classify them by theme. Create a venn diagram of the themes and examples.
 
 
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
ELA
Divide the class into cooperative groups based on one of differing perspectives. Have each present to a committee of national representatives and have that group vote on which group provided the most persuasive argument and why.
 
 
 
Resources
De Pauw, Linda. The Eleventh Pillar: New York State and the Federal Constitution (1966).
 
Kennedy, David M., et al. The American Pageant. Houghton Mifflin: NY, 2002.
 
 
Sherman, Michael. Freedom and Unity: A History of Vermont. Barre: Vermont Historical Society, 2004.
 
 
Spaulding, E. Wilder. His Excellency George Clinton: Critic of the Constitution (1938; 2d ed. 1964).
 
"Vermont." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States. Gale, 2007. U.S. History In Context. Web.
 
 

Historical Context
The newly gained independence and self determination of the United States brought to the forefront longstanding domestic issues that were destined to divide the emerging nation. One of the situations involved the land dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the territory that would eventually be the first state created under the new constitution.
 
Vermont maintained its mostly independent character throughout the French and Indian War and the Revolution. Powerful political factions such as those backing Ethan Allen and even early settlers in the region viewed themselves as neither part of New York nor New Hampshire. Ultimately Vermonters would become a state in 1791.
 
 
Essential Question
What effects was the Revolution having on domestic policies?