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    Description

    John Boyle Archive Including an Andrew Jackson Autograph Letter Signed in the Third Person. This archive contains no fewer than 40 documents relating to John Boyle and his dealings in land purchasing and development spanning the years 1808 to 1830s.

    John Boyle came to America from Ireland in 1801. Having participated in the rising of 1798, against British rule, he was forced to emigrate to the United States as an indentured servant. Because he was educated, he found employ as ship's clerk during the passage, and managed to work off the cost of his indenture. He landed at Philadelphia lacking friends and money, but his education procured him a professorship in a seminary for young women, in Baltimore. In 1804, he married Catherine Burke of Baltimore settled in Washington. The couple had no fewer than five children, including future Confederate Provost Marshal General Cornelius Boyle.

    Boyle became a friend and associate of President Andrew Jackson, whom he admired. As a clerk and, soon, Chief Clerk of the Navy Department, he served as interim Secretary of the Navy on a few occasions. He was active in the buying and selling of land, mainly land grants that had been awarded to Revolutionary War soldiers. The archive contains correspondence with his land agents and records of his dealings in land in Illinois.

    Most notably in the group is an Andrew Jackson Autograph Letter Signed in the third person addressed to Boyle, then serving as acting Secretary of the Navy. Jackson's letter is dated May 17, but the year is left as 183_. The letter reads in part: "The President with his respects to the acting Secretary of the Navy, acknowledges receipt of his note, enclosing that of Wm. P Zantzinger's Esqr. & before he replies, wishes to see the proceedings of the courtmartial in this case & the recommendations, on file, which the later Secretary of the Navy referred to in his conversation with the President on the subject of the reappointment of Mr. Zantzinger..." It is likely that Jackson's letter was written in 1832, as Zantzinger's appointment was submitted to the Senate on May 23, 1832. Zantzinger had been court martialed on charges of scandalous conduct, neglect of duty, disobedience of orders, fraud, and oppression in March 1830. Based on the reappointment, it can be assumed that Jackson disregarded any recommendations regarding Zantzinger. The letter is very fragile with multiple tears and bits of paper loss affecting a few words.

    Other documents in the group include:

    Baltimore County citizenship document, dated August 15, 1808, recording the petition and approval of John Boyle becoming a United States citizen.
    Receipt dated January 10, 1815, for repayment of a debt.
    Tax receipt for military bounty land in Illinois dated November 6, 1821.
    A 27-line manuscript affidavit dated May 1823 describing lands he owns in Pike County, Illinois, "in the Military Bounty Tract."
    An Autograph Letter Signed by John Boyle, 3 pages, to an unknown recipient, and dated July 13, 1829, regarding a deed for land.
    A land indenture between members of a Hines family and John Boyle relating to a small parcel of land (20 frontage feet) in the City of Washington, dated April 16, 1830.
    An invitation from Andrew Jackson in a secretarial hand, dated 1831, inviting Mr. Boyle to dinner with the President.
    Bills of sale including one, dated September 20, 1832, signed by Ths. C. Wright, auctioneer and George Lawn September 21, 1832.
    There are various documents from the 1830s including Washington Corporation taxes on numerous properties in all the years 1836-1846.
    There are receipts for tax bills paid to Fulton Co., Illinois, in 1843, and to Warren and Pike Counties, also.
    A promissory note to John Boyle for land purchased from him in 1843.
    Receipts for Baltimore City taxes and for Maryland State taxes 1844-1845.
    A Deed of Trust, dated September 18, 1849, between Cornelius Boyle and Tho. [Coburn?] & Lewis Johnson concerns a transfer of land.
    The archive also contains a Passport (on vellum) issued to John Boyle, but no records of travels are written in.

    Condition: Condition varies. Most are lightly toned with usual mail folds, else fine. A few documents are very fragile, toned, with areas of paper loss.


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