Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives, Gift of the United States Capitol Historical Society
In 1800 Representative Lewis Richard Morris of Vermont wrote this letter from Washington to a friend in Philadelphia. Morris mentions that his attendance at a speech delivered by President John Adams to “both houses of Congress – [was] certainly a very modest good speech.” Adams was the last president until Woodrow Wilson to present his messages to Congress in person. Morris had good reason to pass judgment on Adams' address. His long political career had already encompassed stints in eight other elected offices, not to mention two years as the secretary of foreign affairs during Vemont's brief time as an independent republic.