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COLONEL WILLIAM A. HOWARD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 02/21/1856 - HFSID 174703

William A. Howard, a captain in the U. S. Revenue Marine (now the Coast Guard) wrote this letter to U. S. Senator from Maine William Pitt Fessenden in 1856 about international politics and matters in the U. S. Navy.

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WILLIAM A. HOWARD
William A. Howard, a captain in the U. S. Revenue Marine (now the Coast Guard) wrote this letter to U. S. Senator from Maine William Pitt Fessenden in 1856 about international politics and matters in the U. S. Navy.
Autograph letter signed "W A Howard". Pencil notations at top edge of page 1 in unknown hand. 4 pages, 7 ¾ x 9 ¾, 2 ruled sheets, front and verso, 2 binder holes in top left corner. New York, Feb. 21, 1856. Addressed to the Hon. William Pitt Fessenden, U. S. Senator, Washington, D. C. In full: "My Dear Pitt. I did expect the pleasure of meeting you long before this, but the severity of the winter has kept me [illegible] the desire of cruising abroad - the long absence of the 'Pacific' as also many Sailing Vessels induced me to offer gratuitously my services to the underwriters to go Search &assist them, they thanked me very politely and - I went home and warmed my toes, again I offered to find ships on same terms if 'd find men & provisions - they passed a vote of thanks at the Board and I came home & warmed my toes again & since been keeping them warm - regreting [sic] I had not the means to hire a crew &furnish provisions - there are today 130 Vessels due at this port many suffering I no doubt. This had been I am inclined to believe the severest winter known in my day - I suspect you'll agree with me too, by the time your return to our [illegible]. Wont [sic] you? I sometimes fear for the Union - Come what may I belong thank God to new Eng-land &will stand by her. I intended to have been in S Peters-burg some time since &only awaited the arrival of funds from California, the Peace proposition now keeps back, that there will be Peace I have no doubt. Louis Napoleon have found the strength of England &has made the Great [illegible] recognise recognise [sic] him, even as the Arbiter of Europe. he'll war no more at present, but Waterloo &the impresinment [sic] of his Uncle has not yet been avenged, but he'll 'bid his time' So we are trying to kick up a muss? tell those Warriors of the Senate to hold their horses - let England lay up that infernal big fleet and give us a fair start. Why they would burn this every other one on the Coast before one could get Guns enough cast to place in, besides cutting off 2/3 of our Seamen out of our country - after all its only talk and bidding for the Presidency I think my way Sewards speech must have bothered most of 'em - it was a good one. Master Cushman has been removed; why such a d-d should even have been sent on such duty, astonishes me. He dint [sic] know a cod from a herring - a bay from a river - [illegible] 'o'crickey' Do you know friend Pitt I am more Entitled to that Position than any living man - such is the fact - first I am fitted for it. Second when 16 years ago I commanded a Party &fought the Englishmen for the rights of the Fishing - n-cap-tured several vessels from them &made them desist in their attacks on the Fishermen - They offered a reward of 60 Guinese [sic] for me &hunted me for nearly a whole season - 3 I am acquain ted [sic] with every nick of the Coast - But I am not a partisan of Mr. Pierce - did not - [illegible] cannot Vote for him- were our friends in Prime I would ask for it- I want it! not for its paltry salary of 2000$ per annum, but its [sic] an honourable position &would suit me & I it- If perfect con-venient & you can do without depriving those who are more entitled to such courteseys [sic] I wish you to send me a sett [sic] of charts & the vol containing the Message & the Secretary s Report sI wish you would distinctly understand dear Pitt, if perfectly convenient &not otherwise- because I can [illegible] (&prefer it) on my Enemy's - Have you heard from William? Please inform me of his whereabouts &when expected home. The Navy is giv ing [sic] you some trouble just now- Much injustice has been done without doubt &should be remedied, but many worthly [sic] have been [illegible] that have disgraced the service too long- Make the navy consist of three distinct Corps, with Promotion (seperate) [sic] in Each. 1st Navy Proper. 2d Ordnance 3d Hydrographic-off Court Martial to all that [illegible] dropt [sic] entirely & a hearing to those furloughed on such pay as reflects upon their characters and our Navy will very much improved indeed- Very few of the dropt [sic] will ask for a Court &many of those furloughed will ask for no hearing. I believe I know nearly every man(with the Exception of a few young ones), full justice was done our friend Paine [illegible] certainly cannot complain, injus tice was done to [illegible] Smith Why was the Senior Officer of the Navy [illegible] Steward furloughed? He's never Expected to Command [illegible] &he's identified [illegible] the Events of our naval Naval [sic] Warfare & Old 'Ironsides' I'd break that board for want of Tacks - they were honest I believe I hope I may have the pleasure of seeing you in Wash-ington before long- the Navy Department [illegible] since Prize-money which should have been paid [illegible] since I suppose I shall be under the necessity of going for it If you can spare me two minutes from your own tasked time it [illegible] afford me great pleasure to hear from you Ever yours dear Pitt With affection". WILLIAM PITT FESSENDEN (1806-1869) was a U. S. Representative (1841-1843) and Senator (1853-1864, 1864-1869) from Maine. He was also Secretary of the Treasury (1864-1865). WILLIAM A. HOWARD (1807-1871, born in Maine) was an American naval officer. He entered the United States Navy in 1824, but resigned his commission to become a captain in the United States Revenue Marine (now the Coast Guard). While in the Revenue Marine, he assisted vessels off the coast of New England. He was said to look so resplendent in his uniform while commanding the revenue cutter USRC Jackson that naval officers pressured Navy Secretary Levi Woodbury to remove epaulettes from Revenue Marine uniforms. However, when war broke out, he raised a regiment of heavy artillery for the Army of the James and a regiment of marine artillery for General Ambrose Burnside. He also commanded the defenses around Portsmouth and Norfolk as a colonel. He resumed his captaincy in the Revenue Marine after the war. Lightly toned, soiled and creased. Body of letter, but not signature, is lightly smeared in places but legible. Binder holes touch body of letter, but not signature. Light discoloration along left edges of pages, which touch body of letter but not signature. Light tears in top left corner. Folded twice vertically and thrice horizontally and unfolded. Folds are discolored on page 4. Otherwise in fine condition.

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