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Collection Scope and Content Notes

This collection of correspondence contains long runs of letters from newspaper publisher Hugh Henry Brackenridge and from the Reverend Charles Nisbet of Dickinson College, and a short run of letters from Congressman William Findley. Addison, Brackenridge, Nisbet and Findley were all educated men of Pennsylvania. To Addison, Brackenridge was a fellow lawyer and writer. Nisbet was Addison's friend and a fellow Scottish theologian. Findley's relationship to Addison is less clear, although they both worked to quiet the Whiskey Rebellion. The bulk of the correspondence relates to the time and place in which they were written. All correspondents mention constitution ratification and early congressional events. Brackenridge writes repeatedly about the Jay Treaty and Pinckney Treaty. Brackenridge also references events surrounding the Whiskey Rebellion, and writes about his political enemy, Albert Gallatin, a federalist and foil to Alexander Hamilton's fiscal policy. Brackenridge provides editorial feedback on Addison's political tracts and essays. Findley's few letters detail events in the House of Representatives. Nisbet's letters are the most colorful, and touch upon the broadest range of domestic and foreign issues, most notably his openly sarcastic hostility towards post-revolutionary politics, both American and French. Nisbet also corresponds extensively with Addison about deeply personal problems related to Nisbet's alcoholic son.

Names of people and events that are inferred, rather than explicitly stated in the correspondence, are bracketed in the item level scope content notes. The majority of the correspondence includes typed transcriptions, which are filed with the original letters. Address information within the correspondence varies and is noted at the item level when known.

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