Publication Date: 1866
Association Member: IOBA
Manuscript / Paper Collectible Signed
Condition: Good +. 1 leaf 25 x 20 cm. handwritten on both sides. Lined paper with the letterhead of the Office of the Commissioner of Public Buildings, Capitol of the United States. Dated May 23, 1866, Washington City. In 1853 B. B. French (1800-1870) was named Commissioner of Public Buildings, a position he held until 1867 when Congress replaced the office with that of Architect of the Capitol. As Commissioner of Public Buildings, French was responsible for all the federal buildings in Washington, D.C., including the construction of the capitol dome. Henry A. Smythe (1817-1884) served as Collector of the Port of New York from 1866 to 1869. While Collector, Smythe arranged for his friend novelist Herman Melville to get a job as an inspector of customs. In this letter, French congratulates Smythe on his nomination and unanimous confirmation by the Senate. He also asks that his brother-in-law, Samuel L. Chase, who worked at the custom house, might be promoted so that he could "live more in accordance with his social station in life." In Good+ Condition: minor loss at corners; dampstain at one lower corner; starting to separate at folds; lightly soiled; no loss of text.
Published by Admiralty London. 21 August, 1806
Manuscript / Paper Collectible
The letter is 1p, 12mo, and is accompanied by the covering 8vo leaf, addressed to 'John Atkins Esqre | Duke Street | Westminster', with a second signature for franking. The covering leaf is endorsed: 'Admiralty August 21 1806 | Adml. Markham concerning Miles Burn that it would be impossible to get him reinstated'. Both letter and covering leaf in good condition, lightly aged and worn, with fold lines. Markham could hardly be more decisive. The letter reads: 'My Dr Sir | Your attempts I am sure will be in vain to get Mr Burn restored to his rank[.] The Evidence is very strong indeed as to his general [last word underlined] drunken habits, and the instances, render him for ever incapable [last three words underlined] of serving His Majesty his heirs or Successors'. At the foot of the page, apparently written at a later date: 'I wrote on a scrap of paper written on the other side which I did not see when I wrote this'.