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JAMES BUCHANAN. Manuscript LS: "James Buchanan" as Polk's Secretary of State, 1p, 8x10. Washington, 1846 January 26. To James Hunnewell, Esq., Boston. In part: "I have received your letter...relating to two drafts of Mr. George Brown, late Commissioner to the Sandwich Islands, amounting to $878 29/100, heretofore presented by you. I can only state, as you have been informed, that there is, at present, no appropriation from which those drafts can be paid. When such an appropriation shall be made, which, it is expected, will be during the present session of Congress, they will, the State of Mr. Brown's account warranting it, be paid...." The Sandwich Islands, named in honor of the Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, had been discovered in January 1778 by British Captain James Cook during his search for a northwest passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic. At the time of this letter, King Kamehameha III ruled Hawaii. He had difficulties with foreign governments, but finally secured recognition of the independence of Hawaii from the United States in 1842 and from Great Britain and France in 1843. Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1900 after having been annexed by an act of Congress in 1898 at the urging of sugar planters who desired closer ties with the United States. Anything relating to early Hawaiian history is scarce, and this is an interesting example worthy of further research dated just four years after U.S. recognition of the Kingdom. Light folds, 1 vertical between the first "an" in "Buchanan", light show through at blank area above salutation from ink stain on verso. Fine condition.

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Born: April 23, 1791 in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania
Died: June 1, 1868 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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