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BENJAMIN F. BUTLER. Autograph Letter signed: "B. F. Butler", 3p (integral leaf), 7¾x9¾. New York, 1855 October 1. To "Hon. G. A. Simmons", in full: "I have this moment received your letter of the 28th ult. About the time I wrote to you, I wrote to Mrs. Livingston, substaintially, to the same effect. But I have advised her to furnish all the agreed documents in her possession, and to give every other facility in her favor, to Mr. Salters. She probably regards me now, rather as her friend in this matter, than as her counsel. In either or both capacities, I am willing to give any [illegible word] attached to it, and of course, the best advice as my favor. But I am not willing to look up witnesses, because I have no time for any such occupation, and I am disinclined to try. I will advise her to obtain through Mr. Garretson, or Mr. [two lines illegible] but I will not undertake to get them myself, for I cannot go to Poughkeepsie for that purpose. If you will make out in minute detail, a certificate of all & register the questions which you think Mr. Garretson ought to put to said witnesses as well as of the inquiries he ought to make, I will advise in respect to them. And also, in respect to the examination of said witnesses, should it be deemed needful [phrase illegible], but I cannot undertake the care or management of any such proceedings. It is totally out of my line of practice. I believe I have now answered every question in generalities and within the limits indicated shall be glad to give any help in my power. But I confess to a deep disgust, at the manner in which the law seems to be practiced, in these enlightened days, in your part of this State, where a trial seems to be anything but an attempt to ascertain the facts on which the controversy really depends; and under the influence of the feeling, I [phrase illegible] to which I had been led, and from which I have seen no reason to depart. Very truly and respectfully yours". Benjamin Franklin BUTLER (1795-1858) a former member of the New York State Assembly (1827-1833), served as Attorney General under Presidents Jackson and Van Buren (1833-1838). In 1836-1837, he served concurrently as Secretary of War. Following his term, he was U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1838-1841, 1845-1848). He helped to organize what is today New York University's law school. Vertical and horizontal folds. Fine condition.

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Born: December 17, 1795 in Kinderhook Landing, Columbia County, New York
Died: November 8, 1858 in Paris, France

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