“If I Had It in His Hand-Writing I Would Burn It”: Federalists and the Authorship Controversy over George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1808–1859

“If I Had It in His Hand-Writing I Would Burn It”: Federalists and the Authorship Controversy... Abstract: Federalists throughout the United States claimed George Washington as a Federalist leader and, especially after Thomas Jefferson’s Revolution of 1800, used this connection as a central feature of their campaign to regain voter confidence and political influence. A critical part of that campaign was Washington’s Farewell Address. Federalists argued that they were the true defenders of Washington’s principles and that the Republicans had turned their backs on the Farewell Address. When a rumor began circulating in 1808 or 1809 that Alexander Hamilton had been the true author of the Farewell Address, Federalists feared that the authority of the Address would be diminished and its influence in the Federalist cause greatly weakened. As Federalists began to meet renewed success at the polls in 1808, at least in part due to their Washingtonian rhetoric and principles, their need to preserve the established narrative that the Address was solely Washington’s work led them to do everything they could to quash the Hamilton rumors. Federalist needs conflicted with the desire of Hamilton’s family to see their patriarch receive the credit they believed he was due. When the Federalists finally passed from the scene in the late 1820s, it was Washington’s heirs who extended the controversy for an additional three decades. The authorship controversy revealed how essential the Federalists saw Washington and his Farewell Address as being to their political beliefs and their renewed electoral relevance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

“If I Had It in His Hand-Writing I Would Burn It”: Federalists and the Authorship Controversy over George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1808–1859

Journal of the Early Republic, Volume 34 (2)

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-pennsylvania-press/if-i-had-it-in-his-hand-writing-i-would-burn-it-federalists-and-the-fNLUCDd2z0
Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: Federalists throughout the United States claimed George Washington as a Federalist leader and, especially after Thomas Jefferson’s Revolution of 1800, used this connection as a central feature of their campaign to regain voter confidence and political influence. A critical part of that campaign was Washington’s Farewell Address. Federalists argued that they were the true defenders of Washington’s principles and that the Republicans had turned their backs on the Farewell Address. When a rumor began circulating in 1808 or 1809 that Alexander Hamilton had been the true author of the Farewell Address, Federalists feared that the authority of the Address would be diminished and its influence in the Federalist cause greatly weakened. As Federalists began to meet renewed success at the polls in 1808, at least in part due to their Washingtonian rhetoric and principles, their need to preserve the established narrative that the Address was solely Washington’s work led them to do everything they could to quash the Hamilton rumors. Federalist needs conflicted with the desire of Hamilton’s family to see their patriarch receive the credit they believed he was due. When the Federalists finally passed from the scene in the late 1820s, it was Washington’s heirs who extended the controversy for an additional three decades. The authorship controversy revealed how essential the Federalists saw Washington and his Farewell Address as being to their political beliefs and their renewed electoral relevance.

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month