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    John Tyler Autograph Letter Signed "Yr Father/J Tyler," two pages, 7.75" x 9.75", front and verso. Staten Island, October 11, 1853. With integral leaf addressed by Tyler to his son, "Robert Tyler Esq./No. 42 E. 6th Street/Philadelphia/Pa," franked "J. Tyler," postmarked "Free/New-York/Oct 12." The former president writes to his eldest son, in full, "When we left home, it was with the intention of passing through Philadelphia but before we reached Norfolk Julia became so ill as to inquire a physician and passed the night at the National. In the morning she was relieved from a severe headache under which she had labor'd the day and night preceeding and the Doctor advised us to take the Jamestown as best suited to her condition - We did so and reachd here at 11 O'Clock on Thursday. I immediately transferd her here (Mrs Gardiners) and calld in a physician who had been twice a day attending her ever since. She has been quite ill, but has so far recoverd as to enable me to visit New York where I may remain some two days - rooms will be provided for me at the Metropolitan - I have taken slight cold, which has brought on a return of my old complaint. I hope it will pass off in a day or two. I recd and read your first number on the Pacific Road. I think it is written with ability and establishes beyond all doubt the abstract question of expediency - undoubtedly the road, when completed, will accomplish a great and prominent revolution in trade. I confess however that I almost fear your second number on the constitutional question - an error there will adhere to you through life. Calhoun never was able to overcome his early errors on a similar subject - to the day of his death it was to him the shirt of Nessus - Profit by his example. In this State every thing is at odds and ends - and Guthrie's letter to Bronson has made confusion more confounded-so far the effort on all sides is to separate the President from the denunciations hurled at the head of his Secretary - but this will not long endure, and the P. will soon become an object of furious assault. Julia received yesterday Priscilla's letter which reached Sherwood Forest after our departure and was forwarded. She is too weak to sit up long enough to write. With love to all." In a postscript, Tyler adds, "Did you receive any check in L.W.'s affair. I sent it some 12 days ago." The docket in unknown hand identifies L.W. as Louisa Wickham. Mentioned in this letter: John Tyler's wife Letitia had died in the White House in 1842. In 1844, the 54-year-old widowed President married 23-year-old Julia Gardiner (1820-1889). She was four years younger than her stepson, Robert. Tyler had eight children with Letitia and seven with Julia who, at age 33, had given birth to her fifth child on August 24, 1853, just seven weeks before this letter was written. Tyler is writing this letter from Julia's mother's home in Staten Island, New York. John and Julia Tyler lived in their Sherwood Forest Plantation in Charles City, Virginia, since they left the White House in 1845. Earlier in 1853, a bill to provide for "the construction of a railroad and telegraphic line from the valley of the Mississippi to the Pacific ocean" was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The "Pacific Road" refers to this proposed railroad eventually completed in 1869. John C. Calhoun had died on March 30, 1850. The "constitutional question" may have been related to states' rights and slavery. In Greek mythology, the "shirt of Nessus" was the poisoned shirt that killed Hercules. Democrat James Guthrie was President Franklin Pierce's Secretary of the Treasury. Democrat Greene C. Bronson, Chief Judge of the N.Y. Court of Appeals (1850-1851), was a proslavery candidate for Governor of New York in 1853. Priscilla Cooper Tyler (1816-1889) married John Tyler's son, Robert Tyler (1816-1877), in 1839. She was White House hostess after Letitia Tyler died. The Tylers moved to Philadelphia in 1844 where Robert practiced law and was active in the Democratic Party. When the Civil War began in 1861, Robert and Priscilla declared loyalty to the Confederacy and moved to Richmond where Robert became register of the Confederate Treasury. John Tyler was elected to serve in the Confederate Congress but died in 1862 before he could take his seat. This magnificent letter is in very fine condition. It is tipped to a 10.5" x 14.25" sheet. The tear at the seal on the integral leaf has been expertly repaired. Accompanied by a 5.75" x 8.5" engraved portrait of Tyler with facsimile signature mounted on a 10" x 14.25" sheet.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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