Description

    [John McLean] Archive of Fifteen Letters by Dr. Joshua H. Hayward to Supreme Court Associate Justice John McLean, containing political and personal content and dating from 1830 through 1856, the year Dr. Hayward died. Joshua Hayward (1797-1856) was introduced to Associate Justice John McLean in 1830 by Congressman Edward Everett of Massachusetts. An 1821 graduate of Harvard with an M.D., Hayward, came from a respected and wealthy Massachusetts family. He gained a reputation in the region as a talented artist. In his first letter to Justice McLean, dated May 5, 1830, Hayward asks to marry McLean's daughter, Sarah: "You are aware of my acquaintance with your daughter Sarah; it has become my duty to inform you, that acquaintance has grown into an esteem which I have reason to believe is mutual. I have proposed for her to become my wife, & that proposal has been received in a manner not to be misunderstood. I have only to ask your consent, as I have already obtained that of your lady." The two were married and Hayward subsequently wrote McLean often, especially during the 1831 presidential election when McLean had his own presidential aspirations.

    This archive contains four letters from the 1831 election year in which Hayward speculates about McLean's presidential chances, including speculation about a McLean-Webster ticket and the chances of candidate Henry Clay winning New England's support. One letter dated December 29, 1830, contains a December 11, 1830, Essex Gazette newspaper article, referenced in the letter, which surmises that "if General Jackson should determine to withdraw, his influence, it is supposed, will be given to Mr. M'Lean, who may be run as candidate for the Presidency, with Mr. Van Buren as Vice President, which it is presumed will be a very formidable ticket. . . . We should rejoice to see Judge M'Lean fairly before the people of the United States, as a candidate for the Presidency. He would most assuredly be elected." Another letter, dated September 27, 1831, gives Hayward's impression that McLean would be the Anti-Masonic Party's nominee (the party's national convention was being held in Baltimore from September 26-28): "It seems to be the general impression here that you are to be their [Anti-Masonic Party] candidate for the Presidency." Hayward's impression was wrong; William Wirt received the party's nomination. In another noteworthy letter dated June 27, 1831, Hayward mentions the "singular quarrel between [John] Eaton & [Samuel] Inghem [sic]", a reference to the Petticoat Affair involving President Jackson and his cabinet over the marriage of John Eaton to Margaret O'Neale. Treasury Secretary Ingham had resigned his post on the cabinet seven days before this letter was written as a result of the scandal.

    In other letters, Hayward mentions John Quincy Adams' funeral (1848), "the disastrous effects of Pres. Polk's War [the Mexican War]" (1848), and an 1840 request to McLean to "ask Gen. Harrison" for an appointment as a naval officer since "I feel no longer any spirit for painting." The letters contain an abundance of political information, as well as insight into the lives of Associate Justice McLean and Dr. Hayward. The lot also includes two letters from McLean's grandchildren. Some letters have small amounts of missing text due to original opening tears. All are easy to read with the occasional light staining; fine condition overall.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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