Description

    President Tyler declines a request from Dolley Madison for an appointment for her troubled son

    John Tyler Autograph Letter to Former First Lady Dolley Madison. Two pages, 8" x 10". Winchester Springs. September 26, 1844. A carefully worded letter declining a request from the former First Lady, for an appointment for her son, John Payne Todd. In full:

    "Your letter soliciting an appointment of consul at Liverpool for Mr. Todd has claimed from me and received all the consideration which an anxious desire to meet your wishes and the exalted respect in which I hold you, was so well calculated to elicit. After full consideration dear Mrs. Madison, I have brought myself to conclude that it is a place which emphatically calls for mercantile knowledge, which can only be acquired by a long association with merchants in a mercantile community and that it would neither suit Mr. Todd or he it. His pursuits have estranged him from the mercantile world, its habits, its manners and its thoughts - and have been of a character which would be better adapted to a situation abroad in connexion with a foreign embassy. Should any place of this latter character arise during the brief space which remains of my term of service, it will give e much pleasure to consider of any application that Mr. Todd may make.

    I have the honor to be, Dear Madam, with the truest regard and highest respect.

    Yr most obt servt
    John Tyler

    Mrs. Madison

    John Payne Todd (1792-1852) was Dolley Madison's son with her first husband. James Madison would adopt him at age 2. Todd had difficult life, faced with recurring gambling debts, and legal troubles. His parents bailed him out of debtor's prison, mortgaging Montpelier on one occasion. During his second term, Madison secured a post as secretary to an official delegation in Europe; but his drinking and gambling soon ended the sojourn. Madison then brought him on to manage Montpelier, but that, too was a failure.

    Dolley's fortunes were soon exhausted in caring for Todd, and his reputation (and Dolley's troubles) were well known in Washington's circles.

    Condition: Restored at an earlier time, the letter has been cleaned and silked. A few stray stains, but otherwise very clean, with bold ink.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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