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    John Tyler Autograph Letter Signed. Six pages, 7.75" x 12.5", Sherwood Forest plantation [Virginia], February 5, 1849. Shortly after leaving the presidency, Tyler returned to Virginia and settled in the plantation of Walnut Grove, which he renamed Sherwood Forest. Writing to H. Smith, he discusses the importance of cotton production and its supply to foreign markets.

    He begins, in part: "...of late years it has become manifest that whereas an encreased [sic] demand for breadstuffs, which is necessarily attended with encreased [sic] prices, takes place in foreign countries there is a proportionate decline in the price of cotton. Men must eat. That is a primary necessity which cannot be dispens'd with, and when they are driven to purchase breadstuffs at a high price, they are forced into a curtailment of expenditure in providing themselves with the material for clothing, which is also a necessity...there is one remedy for the Cotton planter...and that is to multiply as far as possible the markets for his cotton." This would consist of opening up to several foreign markets, but not to the exclusion of the market at home, which is "...of the greatest importance...Neither Egyptian, Brazillian [sic]or East Indian cotton can...compete with that raisd [sic] upon our soil." You have only to look at the price of cotton abroad to see that this is true, but times are changing and "The day which has begun to dawn on the plantation states, will go on increasing until the Home price shall regulate the foreign price."

    He continues: "The Home demand for the raw material has astonishly [sic] increased in the last few years...The day is on us even now when our 20 millions of people are clothd by American Looms, from the cotton fields of the South, and the day will arrive sooner than he can calculate when those same looms will clothe the millions of other countries." Tyler believes it should be the "...true policies of our preserve as far as possible the monopoly of the plant in our own hands, so as to hold constraint over the issues of peace and war. But without pursuing the enquiry it is only necessary to say that such constitutional amendment is impractible [sic]...The Politicians will break it, but will never amend it. You and I then arrive at our conclusions by different ways but still we do conclude that American spindles and looms will not only supply the millions of America but at no distant time the millions of the world."

    Folds are weakened and separating at the edges resulting in some areas of chipping and loss of paper. Light ink smudging in places and bleed-through. Scattered spots of foxing. Light toning to edges with a moderate stripe of toning along the upper edge of the first page.

    W.C. Putnam Collection for the benefit of the Acquisition and Conservation Fund of the Putnam Museum.

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