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CHIEF JUSTICE ROGER B. TANEY - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 285192

ROGER B. TANEY Autograph Letter signed as Secretary of the Treasury to US Representative Tristram Burges (1834), adopting a tone of cool indifference to the concerns of a political opponent. Autograph Letter signed: "R. B. Taney" as Secretary of the Treasury, 1 page, 7½x9¾.

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Reg. $800.00

Condition: lightly creased
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ROGER B. TANEY
Autograph Letter signed as Secretary of the Treasury to US Representative Tristram Burges (1834), adopting a tone of cool indifference to the concerns of a political opponent.
Autograph Letter signed: "R. B. Taney" as Secretary of the Treasury, 1 page, 7½x9¾. Treasury, Department, 1834 February 17. To Tristram Burgess, House of Representatives. In full: "It is a source of regret to me that your communication of the 13th of December last on the subject of the application of the sum of $8,300 from the fund created by the act of the 16th 1798 to the establishment of a Marine Hospital at Providence, should, so long, have remained unanswered; but I beg leave to assure you that the delay is to be ascribed to the great pressure of other business claiming the undivided attention of the Department. Upon inquiry I learn that the disbursements for the relief of sick and disabled seamen during the four years ending on the 31st of December, 1832 had so far exceeded the receipts as to produce a difference of $15,750 at the end of that year, to supply which an appropriation of that amount was asked for, and granted by an Act of 2nd of March 1833. Aside, therefore, from any consideration connecting with the expediency or inexpediency of the proposed establishment, you will perceive that the interposition of the Department is rendered ineffectual by the condition of the fund. I have the honor to be, Very respectfully, Your obedient servant." Two horizontal fold creases. Taney (1777-1864, born in Calvert County, Maryland) was educated privately before attending Dickinson College, where he graduated first in his class. Taney apprenticed with an Annapolis lawyer for three years and was admitted to the bar in 1799 when he was 22. After two years as a Federalist member of the Maryland House of Delegates, he began his legal career in earnest in Frederick, Maryland. There, he met Anne Phoebe Charlton Key, the sister of Francis Scott Key, whom he married in January of 1806. Taney, who became one of Maryland's leading lawyers, became an avid supporter of Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party. In 1831, Jackson appointed Taney as both Attorney General (1831-1833) and acting Secretary of War before naming him Secretary of the Treasury on Sept. 23, 1833. Tristram Burges (1770-1853), former Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1815) represented that state in the US House for 5 terms (1825-1835). He was Chairman of the Committee on Invalid Pensions, a post which might have been expected to elicit a more sympathetic response from Taney. However, Burges had been elected on an Anti-Jackson ticket, and would soon be the Whig candidate for Governor against the Democrat favored by the President. This may account for the relatively cool - one might almost say indifferent - tone of Taney's reply to this inquiry. Payback came four months later, when Senate Whigs blocked Taney's appointment (June 24). Taney had the last laugh, however. In 1836, after Democrats gained control of the Senate, Jackson appointed Taney as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He served until his death in 1864, and is chiefly remembered for his decision in the Dred Scott case (1857): slaves were not citizens and Congress had no power to prohibit slavery in territories. Taney also declared many of President Lincoln's emergency measures of 1861 unconstitutional, but Lincoln ignored the Chief Justice. Torn upper left edge. Multiple rips along left edge. Multiple notches along right edge. Toned. Corners lightly creased. Pencil note (unknown hand) erased upper left corner. Otherwise fine condition.

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