• [Colonies' Independence, Radicals] Future Harvard President Sparks Seeks Book Review On Life Of Major Cartwright

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    JARED SPARKS (May 10, 1789 – March 14, 1866) was a historian, educator, Unitarian minister and President of Harvard College from 1849 to 1853. At Sparks’ ordination by Dr. William Ellery Channing of the Federal Street Church in Boston, Sparks delivered his discourse on Unitarian Christianity, later known as ‘The Baltimore Sermon.’  The principles set out in the sermon led to the founding of the American Unitarian Association, which later became the modern Unitarian Universalist Association of America. Sparks founded the Unitarian Miscellany and Christian Monitor (1821) and served as chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1823, he bought and edited the North American Review.

    Offered here is a 2 pp, 7 ½ x 10, ALS, August 12, 1826, in which Sparks of Boston asks Joseph Blunt of New York to review the biography of Major Cartwright, a major supporter of the American colonies’ independence.

     “A copy of the Life of Major Cartwright recently published in London has just come to hand. It affords an excellent subject for a review and I know not who would do it more justice than yourself. The Major was a staunch advocate for liberty from his first years and refused to accept an appointment in the navy under Lord Howe to fight against the colony.  In 1774, he wrote a pamphlet to prove that the colonies ought to be independent. I have this pamphlet and some of his other works, which I will send you. I hardly know a better topic for a popular article. You have the politics of England for the last 60 years within its compass & plenty of room to talk of the principles of reform, the separation of the colonies, the doings of the opposition, the doctrines and proceedings of Radicals, & whatever else you please of English politics, giving at the same time a sketch of the life of Major Cartwright, who has been for several years, as a leader of the radical party – and a most amiable & benevolent man.

    “An English gentleman now in this city who was intimately acquainted with Major Cartwright tells me that the (Major C) read your article on European politics with very great delight.

    “I shall want the article by Nov. 18th & as much sooner as may be. If you have leisure I doubt not you will find it as easy & agreeable matter to accomplish. I should like to be informed very shortly whether you will undertake it; if so, I will forward the books and material immediately.

    “I am, Sir, respectfully

    “Your friend and obedient Svt.

    “Jared Sparks

    Joseph Blunt, Esq

    New York”

    BLUNT (February 1792 – June 16, 1860) was a lawyer, author, editor and politician from New York. He first became notable by writing on the Missouri question in 1820.  In 1825, he published a Historical Sketch of the Formation of the American Confederacy and from 1827 to 1835, he edited the American Annual Register. He was a leading Whig protectionist. In September 1855, he was a delegate to the Anti-Nebraska state convention in Syracuse, which merged with the Whigs to form the Republican Party in the state of New York.

    Folds, light toning. A couple of small fold breaks reinforced with archival tape.

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