SIR FRANCIS NAPIER - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 06/08/1857 - HFSID 23862
SIR FRANCIS NAPIER 4-page letter to Hamilton Fish, pronouncing himself satisfied with plans for expansion of the his residence in Washington, but then requesting numerous changes. Autograph Letter signed: "Napier", 4 pages (integral leaf), 7½x9½. Washington, 1857 June 8.
Sale Price $198.00
SIR FRANCIS NAPIER
4-page letter to Hamilton Fish, pronouncing himself satisfied with plans for expansion of the his residence in Washington, but then requesting numerous changes.
Autograph Letter signed: "Napier", 4 pages (integral leaf), 7½x9½. Washington, 1857 June 8. To Hamilton Fish, in full: "I must beg your pardon for leaving your kind letter so long unanswered. I have been very gay and very busy, but neither our diversions or our duties are sufficient cause for such procrastination. Your architect had I believe every opportunity for inspecting of the premises and is in possession of my views with respect to the projected alterations. I entirely approve of the plans except in three insignificant points which I do not desire to urge against your wishes. 1) I would prefer to have one entry into the new room from the middle back apartment and one open to the front parlor on the street, instead of both from the small parlor. This would facilitate the circulation of company very much, and make the access to the dining room easier. 2) I do not care for a sky light in the new room, and 3) I do not see the necessity of having a window at the recess at the south end of the new room. Light on two sides would in my opinion be sufficient. However I defer all these points to your own better judgment. I shall be very well contented with the improved house as presented by the architect. I could wish to have one of the wells in the courtyard dug out to such a depth as to yield a constant supply of tolerable water for the horses and washing the carriage. I was under the impression that the pump in the Stable was an independent pump, but I find it draws from the roof water cistern. The other pump in the yard does not yield a sufficient supply, neither is it good water, but I presume that by sinking 20 or 30 feet deeper we should find a constant and pure supply. Will you also have the goodness to place me in relation with a gentleman who may sit as your agent and receive my rent. As I had occasion to receive company for the celebration of the Queen's birthday I was obliged to re-paint and re-paper the rooms. I was obliged to apply to Mr. Franklin, and as in England it is the fashion for the man who papers to paint also, I employed him for that purpose. I afterward learned that you had made a contract with another party to paint. I am sorry for the error. I hope the paper will not appear to you too expensive. If it does so I will pay the difference. I also am responsible for papering the dining room and for all the gilt rods that I have put up. If you will appoint an agent we can settle all these particulars. You will oblige me by offering my compliments and regards to your family. I wish them all an agreeable excursion to Europe. Believe me, Yours very faithfully". British diplomat FRANCIS NAPIER (1819-1898) was Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States (1857-1859), generally regarded as the most effective British ambassador to the US up to that time. He later represented Britain in the Netherlands, Russia and Prussia and to the Governor of Madras, and was acting Viceroy of India in 1872. That same year, he was made Baron Ettrick. He headed the Napier Commission (1883-1884), which investigated landlord/tenant disputes in the Scottish Highlands. Hamilton Fish, former Governor of New York, had just finished his single term in the US Senate (1851-1857) when he received this letter. He would become Secretary of State under President Grant (1869-1877). Fish, out of office when he received this letter, seems to have been acting as a private landlord in his dealings with Napier, implying that the improvements were to Napier's own residence in Washington, not the British Embassy. Multiple mailing folds. Toned at folds. Corners lightly worn. Otherwise, fine condition.