PRESIDENT FRANKLIN PIERCE - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 07/24/1854 CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM L. MARCY - HFSID 254011
FRANKLIN PIERCE and WILLIAM L. MARCY. Rare Manuscript Letter of State
signed: "Franklin Pierce" as 14th U.S. President and "W.L.
Marcy" as Secretary of State, 1½p, 10½x16¾. Washington, 1854 July
24. to the President of the Republic of Chile (Manuel Montt). In
full: "I have made choice of David A. Starkweather, one of our
distinguished citizens, to reside near the Government of the Republic of Chile
in the quality of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United
States of America. He is well apprized of the friendship which we bear to
your Government and of our desire to cultivate the harmony and good
correspondence so happily subsisting between us. From a knowledge of his
fidelity, probity and good conduct, I have entire confidence that he will render
himself acceptable to Your Excellency, and give effect to our desire of
preserving and advancing on all occasions the interest and happiness of the two
Republics. I beseech Your Excellency therefore, to give full credence to
whatever he shall say on the part of the United States, and most of all when he
shall assure you of their friendship and wishes for the prosperity of Your
Republic. And I pray God to have Your Excellency always in His safe and holy
keeping." U.S. Minister DAVID AUSTIN STARKWEATHER served in Chile
from 1854-1857. Starkweather was formerly a Representative from Ohio in the
U.S. Congress (1839-1841 and 1845-1847) and was Chairman of the
Democratic National Convention at which Pierce was nominated in 1852.
U.S. formal relations with Chile date back to March 8, 1822, when President
James Monroe recommended to Congress that the U.S. should formally recognize the
independent Latin American republics. On May 4, he signed a bill authorizing
diplomatic missions be established. Colombia was the first country that the
President received and shortly thereafter relations were established with Chile,
Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Central America. With the opening of diplomatic
relations came the formulation of commercial treaties. From 1825 to 1850 large
quantities of cotton goods were exported from the United States to Chile,
Colombia and Brazil. South America, in turn sent hides, wool, sugar, grains and
copper. MANUEL MONTT (1809-1880) was President of Chile from 1851
to 1861 (two five-year terms). His administration was marked by progress in
education, construction of railways, telegraphs and tax reform. He went on to
serve as President of the country's Supreme Court (1861-1880).
FRANKLIN PIERCE, who had hoped to become an expansionist President
like Polk, looked beyond U.S. borders to expand the nation and establish trade.
He was aided in his endeavors by his appointment of WILLIAM LEARNED
MARCY, who had previously served as Secretary of War in Polk's
Cabinet. Marcy, who would be instrumental in opening trade with Japan,
negotiated 24 treaties. They included the important Gadsen Treaty with
Mexico, the Reciprocity Treaty with Great Britain and pacts with the
Netherlands, Denmark and the Argentine Confederation. Letters of state
between world leaders are rarely on the market. Shaded at folds on verso.
Vertical folds touch Marcy's first name and the first "n" in Franklin. Mounting
remnants at upper blank portion on verso. Slight vertical tears at blank lower
edge (all paper intact). ¼-inch separation at upper blank right horizontal fold
on verso. Minor horizontal tear at lower left blank edge on verso. Overall, fine
condition with large, bold 4½-inch signature of Pierce.
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