JAMES BUCHANAN and SAMUEL McKEAN
Handwritten letter signed by both Pennsylvania Senators, advising petitioners
to submit their recommendation on location of a proposed National Foundry to
President Van Buren, not to the Senate, framed in the Gallery of History style
Autograph Letter Signed: "James Buchanan", as U.S. Senator, 1½
pages, 8x10. Washington, 1838 March 27. To "James Burnside, James T.
Hale & A.G. Curtin Esquires". Also signed: "Saml McKean".
In full: "We have received the memorial which you have done us the
honor to enclose to us, recommending Bellefonte as the Site of the proposed
National Foundry. The Bill which has been reported by the Committee on Military
Affairs of the Senate confers upon the President the power of selecting the
Site; and should it pass at all, we have no doubt it will be in this form. It
would be impossible for Congress to make the selection, on account of the great
number of sites recommended & the variety of interests which exists on the
subject. We would, therefore, recommend that the Memorial, instead of being
presented to the Senate, should be delivered to the President in case the Bill
becomes a law. We shall, however, be guided in our course by your wishes. We do
not consider it probable that any such Bill will pass during the present
session. There seems to be a determination in Congress not to adopt any measure
of expenditure at the present moment which can be avoided, whilst we shall be
are obliged to borrow money to meet the wants of the Government."
Pennsylvania's two U.S. Senators (both Democrats) were, from 1833-1839,
SAMUEL McKEAN (1787-1841) and, from 1834-1845, JAMES BUCHANAN (1791-1868). A
"Memorial" is a statement addressed to the government accompanied by a petition
signed by its supporters. On December 5, 1837, President Van Buren, in his
State of the Union message, urged the "creation of a national foundry for
cannon, to be common to the service of the army and navy of the United
States". Memorials from all over the country began arriving in Washington,
D.C. to be presented on the floors of the Senate and the House recommending
sites for the national foundry. The bill giving the President the power to
select the site was not passed by the current or next Congress and, from time to
time, Buchanan presented Memorials on the Senate floor. On January 13, 1842,
Senator Buchanan (from the "Journal of the Senate") "presented the memorial of
the citizens of the city and county of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, praying that a
site within the limits of their county may be selected as the site for a
national foundry; which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs." On
February 7th, he "presented a memorial, signed by numerous citizens of the city
and county of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, praying that the 'Conestoga navigation,'
in said county, may be selected as the site for a national foundry; which was
referred to the Committee on Military Affairs." On January 20, 1845, Buchanan
"presented a memorial of citizens of Hollidaysburg, in Pennsylvania, praying the
erection of a national foundry at that place; which was referred to the
Committee on Military Affairs." Forty-four days later, he resigned from the
Senate and was sworn in as President Polk's Secretary of State. On February 1,
1854, it was resolved (from the "Journal of the Senate") "that the Committee on
Military Affairs be instructed to inquire into the expediency of authorizing the
Secretary of War to select a site for a national foundry, at some suitable
place." The national foundry as proposed by President Van Buren in 1837 was
never established. Folds, vertical fold touches "e" in James. Lightly
creased, lightly soiled on front page, touching one word. Fine condition.
Framed in the Gallery of History style: 36½x22¼.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
PRESIDENT JAMES BUCHANAN SAMUEL McKEAN
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