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    [Mexican War]. Lewis Putnam Autograph Letter Signed "Lewis H. Putnam." Two and one-half pages, 8" x 10.5", on colored paper, New York, February 19, 1847. Written to "Gen [Juan Nepomuceno] Almonte" shortly before the general was arrested for participating in the failed Polkos Revolt to oust President Valentin Gomez Farias and four days before the Battle of Buena Vista, the letter regards the financial situation of Mexico during the Mexican War and Putnam's plan for how the necessary funds could be acquired. The letter reads in part:

    "...The most of the troops of the line, are in Mexico, or soon will be, & the arms that I'd signed to use, would enable me to cope successfully with any irregular Troops that could be brought against me; But whether I succeed in obtaining the means necessary to enable me to take a part in the contest or not, I hope the result of the war, will be advantageous to the Mexican Arms. The subject that is paramount with me is to see a union, a union among the people and people: leaders which will enable you to present a solid front to the enemy of your country. I feel some solitude about the financial affairs of the country, & I hope that you may succeed in adopting some plan, that will prove equal to the exigency of the war. I am convinced however that you will be oblige to issue Bills of the denomination of $5, $10, $20, $50, & $100 for the use of the army & for the general purpose of the Government. If the annual expenses are greater then the income you must be able to make up for the deficency [sic] & if you fail in doing so, it will prove desatrous [sic] to the army. The emition [sic] of paper money, we are told that it originated with the Spanish army in Spain, & I think that if you refer to war in Europe with Napolian [sic], you will see that England depended mainly upon the Bank of England which for thirty years did not pay any specie, & I hope that it will be possible for your Government to issue paper that would be received as a currency of the country in all the Departments in Mexico. If each Deparment [sic] would gaurentee [sic] the redemption of a certain amount in so many years, & the clergy would assume a part of the amount, & if the Government would receive the same for dues, I think you would be able to issue about $25,000,000 every year, for three or four years. But, if I should be able to take the field; the war would not last four years between Mexico & the United States. To enable you to meet your engagements, for the purchase of military stores &c if the amount contributed by the clergy, & the Department, Should be in part gold & silver, I think that you would be able to manage your financial affair with more facility then you ever will be able to do under the present system. Your annual income must be equal to your annual expeses [sic], & if not, you must provide for the deficency [sic], & how will you do it unless you could obtain money upon the credit of the Government? The idea of the respective states in Mexico paying a sufficient sum, or the church as a mode to furnish the Government with the means for conducting the war will in my opinion fail unless it could be done in such a way as to make it work with harmony. If the churches would pay over to the Government the annual income above their expenses & charge 5 or 6 percent for the use of it & would consolidate the interest with the lone [sic] During the war, I think it would add much to the vigor of the Nation in conducting the war against her enemy. I would like to finish these views upon this finanical [sic] question but I must forbear unless you should desired by you. I hope sir, you will appreciate my motive for adverting to this subject, & attribute it only to my anxiety for you as the financial agent of your country & for her prosperity. I will expect to hear from you soon, & in the main [sic] time, you will hear from me again. I am Dear your obt. servt & a devoted friend of your country."

    Little is known of Lewis H. Putnam. An American citizen opposed to the war with Mexico, he sought to help the Mexican cause from inside the United States and carried on a treasonous letter correspondence with Mexican Secretary of War General Juan Almonte.

    Juan Nepomuceno Almonte (1803-1869) served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of General Santa Anna throughout his invasion of Texas during the Texas Revolution. He was present at the Battle of the Alamo and was captured with Santa Anna after the Battle of San Jacinto. During the Mexican War, he twice served as Secretary of War.

    The letter is written in brown ink; along the top margin, in black ink, is written "return copy." Uneven toning; folds are weakened and separating in places with some loss of text on page three, but the text remains discernible. Signature is bold.

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    March, 2012
    3rd Saturday
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