Description

    Joseph D. Story Lot of Three Autograph Letters Signed to Fellow Supreme Court Justice John McLean. Three two-page letters, each with integral address leaf, 8" x 10", Cambridge, dated January 1, 1842, January 30, 1843, and November 29, 1844, respectively. American lawyer and jurist, Joseph D. Story served on the Supreme Court of the United States (1811-1845), and is most remembered for his opinions in Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and United States v. The Amistad.

    Through their many years serving together, Supreme Court justices naturally shared personal and private thoughts and letters with their fellow justices. We offer three such personal letters here, from Justice Joseph D. Story to Justice John McLean. The first is a letter introducing Caleb Loring, "the son of one of our most distinguished Lawyers in Boston," to Justice McLean, and asking McLean to introduce Loring to the other Supreme Court justices and members of the Washington bar.

    The second communication is a letter of condolence, sent to Justice McLean upon the death of McLean's wife. Story affectionately writes in part: "It grieved me exceedingly to learn a few weeks since through the newspapers that you had had the misfortune to lose your excellent wife. I say excellent for although my personal acquaintance with her was too brief & limited; yet I have been long accustomed to hear her spoken of by her intimate friends with no deeper feelings of affection & attachment, for her virtues, her tenderness & watchfulness [sic] her deep religion & piety, & her unaffected. . . . I pray God to support you under such a bereavement. . . . P.S. My wife desires me to add her affectionate regards to you, & to assure you, how sincerely she sympathizes with you in your afflictive loss."

    The third letter requests McLean's pardon for not appearing in Washington due to the dire health of his mother, saying "I consider her case very alarming, & fear the worst." An excellent addition to any Supreme Court collection, these letters are lightly age toned with occasional faint soiling and small seal tears. Generally fine condition.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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