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TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS, SIGNED, FROM COMMODORE MATTHEW C. PERRY TO HIS NEPHEW, JAMES DeWOLF PERRY, CONCERNING A POLITICAL APPOINTMENT].
"The Moorings," near Tarrytown, N.Y. 1849. - [2]; [3]pp. Quarto and octavo; both on folded sheets. Old fold lines. Bottom edge of second letter with some minor paper loss, affecting a few letters of text. Very minor soiling. Very good plus. Two letters written by Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858) to his nephew, James DeWolf Perry, concerning a political appointment James had asked his uncle to help him obtain. Both of the letters are accompanied by James Perry's retained drafts of the letters to which the Commodore is responding. In the first letter, dated Feb. 15th, Perry writes that he will do all he can to secure the position in question, but will have to wait until the new administration has settled in. He writes: "I will write to my friend and neighbour Col. Webb who is now in Washington; he remains there until after the inauguration; he is one of the leading and most influential Taylor men, and will doubtless be disposed to advocate your interest. There is one thing however that will be necessary to prove and that is your political position, in the state. I am no party man myself, having always abstained from voting excepting and only one instance many years ago to support a personal friend, but I feel assured that the offices will all be given to Whigs or those that profess to be of that party. You had therefore better inform me that I may so mention it in my letter to Col. Webb, whether you are a good and available Whig; otherwise I doubt whether you would have any chance of succeeding." It seems, however, that actions were not fast enough. In the second letter, dated April 7th, Perry writes to say that he has found that the requested appointments are already filled. "I duly rec'd your letter explaining your reasons for the course adopted by you with respect to your late application for an appointment when I was informed that you and [your cousin] Grant were desirous of obtaining certain offices. I readily undertook to render any poor service I could in furtherance of the object but on reaching Washington I at once found that the matter of appointments to office was so arranged as to throw nearly the whole power into the hands of the Congressional delegations, and that the offices which you and Grant desired were already disposed of." Matthew Perry had served in the Navy since before the War of 1812 and ably commanded the U.S. Naval force off the Mexican coast during the Mexican-American War. An expert on ordnance, his bombardment of the walls of Vera Cruz and his control of the coast made possible Winfield Scott's expedition to capture Mexico City. Perry would later gain lasting fame as commander of the fleet which opened Japan to the western world.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2014-10-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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