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PRESIDENT MARTIN VAN BUREN - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 02/10/1831 - HFSID 16354

MARTIN VAN BUREN The Secretary of State conveys President Jackson's demands that Buenos Ayrean government repay its debt to a prominent American citizen who gave support to its liberation from Spain. Manuscript LS: "M. Van Buren" as Secretary of State, 5½ pages, 8x12¾.

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MARTIN VAN BUREN
The Secretary of State conveys President Jackson's demands that Buenos Ayrean government repay its debt to a prominent American citizen who gave support to its liberation from Spain.
Manuscript LS: "M. Van Buren" as Secretary of State, 5½ pages, 8x12¾. Department of State, Washington, 1831 February 10. To John M. Forbes, Chargé d'Affaires of the United States to Buenos Ayres. In part, with original spelling: "I herewith communicate to you the enclosed copy of a letter dated the 31st Ultimo, from Mr. Thomas Lloyd Halsey to this Department respecting his claim upon that Government of Buenos Ayres, which forms the subject of your Despatch No 100 recently received at this office. That paper will enable you to correct an error which it appears from your communication of the 21st July last to the Minister of Foreign Affairs that you have fallen into; with respect to the period at which the value of the stock to be given in payment of that claim ought to be calculated. By referring to the instructions of this Department of 4th March 1830 you will perceive that that period is to be determined by the date at which an award was made in favor of Mr. Halsey, - that is the 26th July 1826, instead of the date of the 'liquidation', as mentioned in your note to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, referred to above. Between these two dates, a period of nearly two years elapsed, during which it is represented that the Stock with which it was proposed to pay Mr Halsey's claim continued to depreciate, as it is understood to have done to the present time; and if the latter were adopted as that at which the value of that stock is to be calculated, it would produce a reduction of the amount due to Mr Halsey, to which he could never give his assent. You will, without delay correct the error in question, and intimate to the Buenos Ayrean Government that the basis in my preceding instructions upon this subject is the one which will be insisted on. I cannot conclude this despatch without expressing to you the surprize and dissatisfaction with which the President has witnessed the indisposition of the Government of Buenos Ayres to render that justice to our Citizens which they have so long, and at such immense sacrifices, been seeking at its hands. Not to speak of other demands as justly and as unremittingly urged upon that Government, the claim which forms the subject of this despatch imposes upon its obligations for the fulfilment of which the President feels it is his duty once more to appeal to its justice. He cannot conceive of any principle upon which a claim which has been again and again sanctioned, and even liquidated by the proper authority, is suffered, at this late hour, to constitute a subject of difference between two friendly Governments, and of protracted and deeply-felt-injury to a private Citizen. Anxious that justice should no longer be delayed, he directs that you should be instructed earnestly and pressingly to urge a final settlement of this just demand...." In 1776, Spain created a colony called the Viceroyalty of La Plata made up of present-day Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and part of Bolivia, Brazil and Chile. In 1810, Buenos Aires set up a government independent of La Plata and of Spain. Two years later, José de San Martín led the fight against Spain, and in 1816 the provinces that now form much of Argentina declared independence. The new country was called the United Provinces of La Plata until 1860, when it took the name Argentina. It was not until 1862 that Buenos Aires joined Argentina, becoming its capital. THOMAS LLOYD HALSEY (c.1776-1855) had been U.S. Consul in Buenos Aires (1814-1818). He became wealthy by his investments in South America since living in Buenos Aires from 1807. During his consulate, he profitably supplied arms and equipment to the United Provinces of La Plata. Much was used by San Martín in his liberation campaigns against Spain. Halsey also co-guaranteed a $2 million peso loan to the Provinces. He then invested in privateering, which resulted in the U.S. asking for his removal as Consul. When he returned to his native Providence, Rhode Island from South America in the 1830s, Halsey was very wealthy. When he died, his estate was valued at $250,000, but he had an outstanding claim of $100,000 against the Argentine government that was settled posthumously. The claim referenced in this document may relate to the $100,000 in question or to another loan he made to the United Provinces of La Plata. Lightly creased. Glue stain along mid-vertical fold touches docket on integral leaf. Staple holes at blank margins, stray ink marks do not touch text. Overall, fine condition.

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