Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    West Point: 19th Century Military Archive of Nine Letters, most of which relate to West Point. Topics are varied and include West Point appointment help from Supreme Court Associate Justice John McLean, West Point disciplinary action, and a job recommendation from a West Point alumnus. Includes a John McLean Autograph Letter Signed. All are fine.

    More Information:

    (1, 2, 3, 4) George Hildt, the brother-in-law of John McLean, writes three letters to the associate justice (dated May 21, 1850, April 15, 1852, and August 5, 1852), about Justice McLean's possible presidential nomination. Hildt also asks Justice McLean to help his son, (and the associate justice's nephew) John McLean Hildt, receive a commission to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In the final letter from Hildt (August 1852), his son has been awarded the commission. Also included is a letter from Secretary of War Charles M. Conrad notifying Justice McLean that a vacancy has occurred and "the President [Millard Fillmore] has desired me to address you and offer the appointment to you for your nephew John McLean Hildt, whom you recommended for appointment on the 14th February last." On the verso is a John McLean Autograph Letter Signed to George Hildt notifying him of the good news and advising that "John should be written to immediately and directed to go the Academy". Cadet John McLean Hildt graduated four years later and fought for the Union throughout the Civil War. Upon his retirement, he was a lieutenant colonel. He died in 1877. With usual folds; fine.


    (5, 6) Two invitations "to dinner for Saturday next" and "to tea on Monday next" between General and Mrs. Porter and "Mr. & Mrs. McLean", both dated December 1828. Toned with folds; fine.


    (7) Letter to Justice McLean (April 24, 1844) from David Gwynne of Urbano, Ohio, concerning disciplinary actions against his son, Nathaniel Gwynne, while at West Point. David Gwynne served as a major in the War of 1812. Fine.


    (8) Colonel Nathan Towson accepts an invitation from "Mr. & Mrs. McLean" for an "invitation to dine with them on Saturday", dated December 19, 1828. Towson, a veteran of the War of 1812 at the time of this dinner, would later become a major general and hero of the Mexican War. Fine.


    (9) Captain Edward Griffin Beckwith Autograph Recommendation Signed "E. G. Beckwith/ Capt U.S. Army". One page, November 2, 1853, Washington, D.C., "To the President and Directors of the 'Mutual Life Ins. Co."  Beckwith, an 1842 graduate of West Point, recommends Sheppard Homans to "the post of actuary in the company under your charge". Homans had been a member of an expedition which Beckwith had commanded. Fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,098

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 44 days left to consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424