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Archibald McClean letter

 Unprocessed Material — Folder: 1
Identifier: ViU-2023-0186

Content Description

This collection contains a single letter from Col. Archibald McClean to Pennsylvania Congressman Hon. Francis James, dated February 16, 1842. McClean, a well-connected Virginia lawyer, expresses his support for the anti-slavery efforts of John Quincy Adams. McClean notes his interest in "the debate which has been going on for some time in your House [of Representatives] upon the resolution for censuring Mr. [John Quincy] Adams for presenting a petition which was unpalatable to at least a portion of the members." The Gag Rule of 1840 silenced Adams's opposition to slavery. McClean praised Adams in the letter and voiced his belief that Adams would ultimately prevail against the gag rule. McClean also discusses the Southerners in Congress who opposed Adams and their hypocritical posture toward the enslaved and America's failure to agree with England on a reciprocal right to search each other's vessels to suppress the slave trade, as England had already abolished slavery in 1833.

Acquisition Type



Purchased from James E. Arsenault and Company, 29 August 2023.

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Script of Description


Restrictions Apply



  • Creation: 16 February 1842



0.04 Cubic Feet (Legal-sized file folder)

Language of Materials



One letter