GOVERNOR DEWITT CLINTON - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 07/16/1819 - HFSID 320143
Sale Price $405.00
Writing as Governor, he recommends a candidate to US Military Academy Superintendent Sylvanus Thayer, "the father of West Point".
Autograph Letter signed: "DeWitt Clinton" as Governor, 1 page, 8x9¾. Utica [New York], 1819 July 16. To "Major Thayer", in full: "Arthur Breen Junior of this Town is a candidate for the office of Cadet. I take the liberty of recommending him to you as a young gentleman of merit & respectable connections. Yours very respectfully, your most obedient servant". DE WITT CLINTON (1769-1828) was New York state senator (1798-1802), United States Senator (1802-1803), Mayor of New York (1803-1807, 1808-1810 and 1811-1815) and Governor of New York (1817-1821, 1825-1828). DeWitt had been introduced to politics when he served as secretary to his uncle, New York's first Governor, George Clinton. In 1812, DeWitt Clinton was the unsuccessful Federalist candidate for President, losing in a close election to Democratic-Republican incumbent James Madison by 128 to 89 electoral votes, 11 to 7 states. If Pennsylvania had gone Federalist, Clinton would have won, 114 to 103. He also introduced a bill in the New York Senate in 1811 to explore routes for what would become the Erie Canal and was appointed to the commission to build the canal in 1816. He confidence expressed in this letter proved justified: Clinton was re-elected Governor in 1820, but by a mere 1,500 votes against sitting US Vice President Daniel Tompkins. Sylvanus Thayer (1785-1872), himself a West Point graduate, was promoted to major in 1815 for his engineering work on fortifications during the War of 1812. After two years studying engineering at École Polytechnique in France, he was appointed Superintendent of West Point in 1817, serving until 1833. Known as "the Father of West Point", he was largely responsible for the Academy's emphasis on engineering. He retired as a brevet brigadier general in 1863. Multiple folds. Light surface creases. Corners worn. Toned. Tears along folds. Small tear on right edge. Stains on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.
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