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    Description

    John Quincy Adams Autograph Letter Signed. One page with integral address leaf, 8" x 10", Ealing [England]; March 7, 1816. Letter from Adams, serving as U.S. Envoy to the United Kingdom, to Thomas Aspinwall, U.S. Consul in London, concerning the case of a stranded seaman in London.

    "Dear Sir

    I consider all persons, who were in the naval or military service of the United States during the late War, and who are in this Country by having been brought here as Prisoners, entitled to relief from the Public, and to be provided with a passage to the United States. The only question in the case of George Johnston is, whether he has not by his own neglect or fault, lost his claim to this assistance. He said something to me, about the Captain of a Cartel's having refused to take him. Mt. Ingraham gave him the certificate that he now produces, and being in London may perhaps give some account of him. As to the amount of the relief to be afforded him, I should think it the same as you would allow if he applied as a Seaman. I would advised you to observe the same rule in all future cases of application from persons brought here as Prisoners of War, until you can obtain specific instructions from the Government of the U.S. on the subject.

    I am, Dear Sir, with high Consideration, your very humble Servt.

    John Quincy Adams"

    At the time of this letter, Adams was serving as U.S. Envoy to the United Kingdom. He arrived in London in May 1815 as part of a U.S. Legation consisting of himself and two young secretaries. Adams and his wife Louisa lived in Ealing, from where this letter was written, which was a village in the countryside outside of London. With the aid of Henry Clay and Albert Gallatin, who had also been part of the U.S. commission at Ghent, Adams negotiated a limited trade agreement with Britain. Following the conclusion of the trade agreement, much of Adams's time as ambassador was spent helping stranded American sailors and prisoners of war, the subject of his letter to Aspinwall. Soon after this letter was written, in April 1817, Adams was offered the post of Secretary of State by President James Monroe, which he accepted.

    Thomas Aspinwall (1786-1876) was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and attended Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1807. He was the second-longest-serving United States consul, holding that position in London from 1816-1854. In the War of 1812, Aspinwall was appointed Major of the Ninth Regiment, U.S. Infantry In 1813 he was made a Lieutenant-Colonel and eventually a Colonel on account of his valor in the battle of Sackett Harbor. In 1814, he sustained an injury to his left arm that required an amputation. In recognition of his service, President Madison appointed him consul to London during a recess, and he was confirmed at the beginning of the subsequent legislative session.

    Condition: The letter has vertical and horizontal folds; there is discoloration along right hand margin. Tearing and paper loss on integral address sheet where letter was opened. Light soiling, a bit heavier on address sheet.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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