Description[John McLean] Nathaniel McLean Archive of Thirty-Two Letters and One Document, Dated 1835-1859, containing notable political and personal information regarding Supreme Court Associate Justice John McLean. Twenty-two letters in this archive, plus one telegraph, are written to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John McLean by his son, Nathaniel McLean; all are docketed by the associate justice. (Also includes one business document written by the junior McLean to the elder.) These letters are dated from 1835 through 1854. Young McLean writes his first two letters (dated 1835 and 1836) from Cambridge, Massachusetts, while attending Harvard. Most of the letters were written in the late 1840s. The letters contain content regarding the McLean farm, politics, Indian activity in Minnesota, business and tax topics, cholera epidemics, and many personal subjects. In one of McLean's Cambridge letters, he quotes Davy Crockett to Justice McLean in a letter written in 1835, shortly before Crockett journeyed to Texas. In another letter dated June 1852, McLean correctly predicts that "Genl [Franklin] Pierce of N. Hampshire" would be the next president.
Also included in the archive are nine letters, all dated 1859, Nathaniel McLean wrote to his second wife, Louisa ("my dear little wife"), while he was arguing a case before Judge Thomas Drummond in Chicago. (Throughout the 1850s, Drummond, judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, had presided over several trials argued by Springfield attorney Abraham Lincoln.) These letters provide interesting personal information on Nathaniel and Louisa McLean.
After attending Harvard, Nathaniel McLean (1815-1905) practiced law. When the Civil War began, he became a colonel in an Ohio infantry regiment. He saw action in the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign against Stonewall Jackson, at the Second Bull Run, at Chancellorsville, and with William T. Sherman during the Carolina Campaign. This archive has been well cared for and is in fine condition. Please go to HA.com/6031-48002 to read selected transcripts from this archive.
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