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GOVERNOR DEWITT CLINTON - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 02/05/1823 - HFSID 254662

De WITT CLINTON Clinton to noted lawyer-scientist that Latin inscription on a medal honoring Benjamin Franklin was plagiarized from the works of a Roman Emperor. ALS: "De Witt Clinton", 1p, 7¾x7¾. No place, 1823 February 5. To Dr. [Samuel Latham] Mitchill.

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De WITT CLINTON
Clinton to noted lawyer-scientist that Latin inscription on a medal honoring Benjamin Franklin was plagiarized from the works of a Roman Emperor.
ALS: "De Witt Clinton", 1p, 7¾x7¾. No place, 1823 February 5. To Dr. [Samuel Latham] Mitchill. In full: "Since conversing with you I recollect the line from Manilius of which we spoke." Clinton then writes the five-word quote in Latin. He continues: "The exercise of the Medal struck in honor of Dr Franklin [Clinton writes a similar five-word quote in Latin] is a manifest plagiarism." Gaius Manilius was a 1st century Roman politician who sponsored the Manilian law to recall Roman commanders in Asia and extend the power of Pompey over all the East. At the time he wrote this letter, De WITT CLINTON was between his terms as New York Governor (1817-1821, 1825-1828) and was a Regent of the University of New York (1808-1825). The son of Revolutionary War General James Clinton, De Witt had been introduced to politics when he served as secretary to his uncle, New York's first Governor, George Clinton. From 1802-1803, Clinton was U.S. Senator, resigning to become Mayor of New York (1803-1807, 1808-1810 and 1811-1815). During his term as Lieutenant Governor (1811-1813), Clinton was the Federalist (Peace Party) candidate for President in 1812, losing in a close election to Madison 128-89 electoral votes, 11-seven states. If Pennsylvania had gone Federalist, Clinton would have won, 114-103. SAMUEL LATHAM MITCHILL (1764-1831) was U.S. Representative, Senator, District Court Judge and Professor of Natural History at the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons. A doctor of medicine as well as a lawyer, Mitchill was also a commissioner who purchased lands from the Iroquois Indians in 1788. Fragile. Folds, vertical fold touches "D" in signature, horizontal fold underlines it. Mounting remnants on verso show through at lower right blank corner. 1-inch diameter tear at lower corner, affecting the "Dr M" in Dr Mitchill. Two 1/8-inch holes just above and below it at left blank margin. ¾-inch separation at bottom of mid-vertical fold, two ¾-inch tears at blank right edge. Chipped and tanned at edges.

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