To John Holmes

    Biddeford        16 January 1820

    “10 oClock”

    My dear Sir—

    Your favour of the 6th January is this moment put into my hand: and I hasten to say, During the seting of the Convention on adjournment,1 we heard there was like to be some difficulty, in the Senate of the U. States, against the Admission of Maine by an attempt to make her a mere pack horse to transport the odious, anti republican principle of Slavery into the new State of Missouri,2 against reason, & the fundamental grounds of the great fabrick of American Liberty—My friend, this vile, & abominable conduct, on part of the Senate, excites universal execration—And I think ought to be met by the House with a resolution to suffer martyrdom in the cause of Liberty, rather than yield an inch in favour of Slavery—Every man I heard speak, on this subject, in the convention, seemed willing our own Admission should be post-poned for a season, rather than be made accessary to the planting of Slavery in a new Star in the American Constellation—

    Obsta principia3—Resist the Devil; & he will certainly flee before the cool fixed face of Liberty. The United States has every thing to fear from an extension of the principle of Slavery—And every good to hope for by defending the cause of Liberty—

    Suffer me my friend to add I have heard your friends lament at reading in the papers that you had joined the slave holders in the case of Missouri—while not a few who would not grieve at your loss of reputation with the people, shew some pleasure at the part you took, presuming you will thereby become unpopular—I mention this simply as a fact—I may add—not only every man but every woman in Maine I beleive will join in the voice of opposing Slavery4

    I read no news papers nor trouble myself much about the manner the general affairs are conducted in Congress; I leave these subjects, with great confidence to our Senators & Representatives; speaking freely my sentiments on public men & public measures as they come to my knowledge; but always without any personal feelings—

    I dont see why the Commonwealth [Massachusetts] might not consent for Maine to be a State, for all purposes of internal State purposes Legislation, whether Congress sees fit to admit us or not—Till we are admitted, tho I we cannot have Senators or Representatives for the State of Maine, yet Maine will be considered simply by the Laws of the United States as a district as heretofore, & we shall not be deprived of sending Representatives—And I cannot bring my mind to believe the Senate will long stand out against the admission of Maine, when they see a fixed, determined Resolution in the House, & by the Representatives from Maine, never to buy freedom by establishing slavery—

    Yours with sentiments of affection & friendship—

    * * *

    ALS, John Holmes Papers, MeHi. Addressed to Washington, D.C.; franked.