[Washington, DC]: 1827- 1828. ; 31,  pp. 8 x 10 inches. Very good, scattered finger soiling, few repaired tears along mail fold, first and last leaves almost completely detached at the fold. Item #44232
A corrected manuscript of Georgia Senator Thomas Cobb's 1828 Speech opposing "The Bill on Making Provisions for the Surviving Officers of the Revolution." Cobb had introduced an earlier resolution on January 11, 1821 (that was defeated in a 59 to 53 vote) which proposed to reduce officers' pensions in addition to the soldiers but the specifics of the debate on that resolution went unrecorded, other than that it met with great objection. The manuscript was most likely recorded by Edward Vernon Sparhawk, a reporter in Washington for the National Intelligencer, who had been attacked earlier that year in the famous Duff Green incident. Cobb's opposition to the bill, as to the one ten years earlier, was that it was not required by either the justice or the gratitude of the nation and that the men had already received bounties, clothing, and other benefits.
Cobb was an early opponent of entitlements and concluded his speech: "He believed that the system of pensions had already been carried to too great an extent in this country. He believed that the gratuitous appropriation of the public treasure was unauthorized by the Constitution, and pernicious in its political tendency" (p. 32; published in Debates in Congress, Volume 4 p. 224).
In the letter on the first page of the manuscript, addressed to Gales and Seaton, he notes it is a long time since he gave the speech, mentions having received Sparhawk's notes a week earlier, in mid-June of 1828 and hoped that the speech would be published as soon as possible. Dated Greensboro [GA], 22 June, 1828, and signed by Cobb. The speech would be published in 1828 as part of Volume IV: Register of the Debates in Congress. Cobb would resign from the senate in November.