Lot 34: ALS signed "W. H. Harrison," one page both sides, 8 x 9.75, Cincinnati, February 15, 1824. Letter to John Scott, congressman from Missouri, in part: "I have received no letter from Washington since the 25th ult. on which day my son William wrote to me. Altho I have long since given up every hope of getting the appointment of Minister to Mexico, I was yet anxious to know how the recommendation…was received. I think it could not have been believed that there would have been so much unanimity in my favor.
I did not know until I received the letter from Wm. above mentioned that you were chairman of the Law Committee—I now enclose you a statement…of Judge Symme's Estate taken from the Records of this County. A knowledge of that circumstance could have I suppose been the reason that the debt due to the U. S. was not sued for. If the individuals who have had judgments against the Estate for 28 or 30 years are unable to find any property of what use would it be for the U. S. to commence an action—Gazlay knows...circumstances mentioned in the enclosed paper as...the clerk who signed it. And his sole aim is to show the people here that he is about establishing some of the charges against myself & my friends which they promised in their ainonimous [sic] handbills pending the Election of 1822. I am perfectly persuaded that he wishes for no decision or Report but I hope that one may be made by all means if he can establish that the U. S. has any lein [sic] upon any lands in this Country for the debt due by Judge Symme's Estate. Let him show it.
Gazlay wrote on to some of his partisans some time ago that the Administration & the majority of Congress were…Corrupt…those letters were not kept secret but shown to a number of persons. An attempt was made to get them for publication. His friends then took the alarm & refused them. I believe that measures are taken to get those who read them (not of his party) to state what they recollect of their contents. I enclose in a separate cover a newspaper containing some notions of the affair." In very good to fine condition, with show-through from writing to opposing sides, and repaired paper loss to reverse of second integral page.
After serving a single term in the state legislature, from 1819 to 1821, Harrison was unfairly marked as pro-slavery and failed to secure reelection, leaving him without a position and struggling to meet the financial burdens of his large family. He made several attempts at higher-paying office positions, focusing a great deal of his attention on the ambassadorship to Mexico; but despite many recommendations within Congress, he was never seriously considered for the position. Making another run for the Ohio Senate the year of this letter, Harrison finally found success. Addressing both his failed attempt at the Mexican appointment and the messy 1822 face-off between the Democratic-Republican and Federalist parties, this letter to Missouri Congressman John Scott captures the uneasy years of Harrison's post-war and pre-presidency career.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 471
Wednesday, 9th March 2016
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