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Foster, Dwight

Brown, Moses to Foster, Dwight; January 30, 1800

Letter from Moses Brown to Dwight Foster, January 30, 1800. Foster was a Federalist Congressman from Massachusetts, alongside Moses's older brother, John, who had recently been elected to the U.S. Congress representing Rhode Island. In the letter, Moses refers to a bill coming before Congress tightening the law against Americans trafficking slaves to foreign ports. While supportive of the bill, Moses also worried that it might "Agitate my Brother ... he having a peculiar irritability whenever [the slave trade] has been mentioned..." The letter makes oblique reference to the voyage of the Sally, a venture into which John, with his "Love of Money and Anxiety to Acquire it," had drawn his brothers. The proposed bill was enacted, despite vocal protests by John Brown, who was one of six Congressmen to vote against it.