The War of 1812
Harrison Gray Otis in The War of 1812
Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) was a leading Federalist statesman and a delegate to the Hartford Convention in 1814. Over a long political career, he served in the Massachusetts state legislature, the United States Congress, and the United States Senate.
As a leader within the Federalist Party during the War of 1812, he participated in the Hartford Convention, a meeting of New England Federalists called to coordinate the region's opposition to the war. While rumors circulated that the convention would propose secession from the union, its demands were more moderate and aimed at making future trade restrictions and future wars more difficult to legislate. Otis was assigned the task of delivering the convention report to President James Madison. He was in Washington when news arrived of the Battle of New Orleans and the Treaty of Ghent, and consequently, he became a symbol of Federalist malcontent.