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    Description

    Franklin Chase Archive spanning the years 1839 through 1866, it includes letters, a copy of a decree by President Benito Juárez, a broadside from Ignacio Comonfort, and payment cards all owned by Franklin Chase, who collected the documents during his time with the United States Consulate. Franklin Chase (?-1890) was a United States consular agent, vice-consul, and then consul for Tampico, Mexico, for a total of thirty-seven years. After being forced to leave Tampico at the start of the Mexican War, his wife Ann, who was Irish and held British citizenship, refused to leave and carried out her husband's business. She fed information to the U. S. military through British officers that led to the bloodless capture of the city by the Americans. He returned to Mexico and, after the recall of the German, Spanish, and French consuls, he filled in, served as consul to four nations at one time. He died in New York in December 27, 1890.

    The seven letters contained are of a professional nature and all but one is addressed to Franklin Chase. The include:

    Gideon Welles Letter Signed as Secretary of the Navy. One page, 7.75" x 10", "Navy Department," October 17, 1862, to Ann Chase, the wife of Franklin Chase. In full: "The Department has received your letter of the 13th inst, in which you ask that a government vessel may be sent to Tampico Mexico, to afford you a passage to your home there, (other means being uncertain) and regrets that the exigencies of the service will not permit a compliance with your request."
    Signature has slight smudging; folds. Very fine.

    [Mexican War] Henry Pinkney Autograph Letter Signed "Henry Pinkney." One page, 7.75" x 9.5", written aboard the "US Steamer Vixen off the Tuspan [Tuxpan] reef," April 18, 1848, to Franklin Chase. In part: "Our communication with Vera Cruz is so rare, and at such uncertain intervals, that I am induced to take the liberty of enclosing some letters for home to your care... We are completely out of the way of getting news here, and I am ignorant of the prospects that there may be of concluding a peace, and as we feel a great interest in the progress of the negotiation, you would confer a favor by giving us any intelligence repeating it." The bottom margin of the letter has the following note: "A few days after the receipt of this letter Mr Chase received the melancholy news of the death of Comds Pinkney & [William S.] Harris. They were both drowned on the Bar of Tuspan!!"

    D. Sanzac Autograph Letter Signed. Three pages, 5" x 8", New Orleans, January 12, 1866, to Franklin Chase regarding the case of the Steamer Sonora. In part: "...Thanking you for extraordinary exertions in case of steamer 'Sonora' I have to state to you that all papers relating thereto are in the hands of his Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State... Possessing copies of Registers of evidences I will at once proceed to Tampico and hope your aid and ability will bring this case to a close." On page three is the copy of a letter sent to Mr. Clavel from Secretary of State William Seward in which he writes: "Your communication of the 22nd of October, relative to the steamer 'Sonora,' has been received and will engage my attention."

    During the Civil War, the Sonora was a merchant vessel of the United States owned by F. Clavel. In 1864, she was seized by a part of her crew while on route to New Orleans and was diverted and docked in Aransas bay (Texas) where she was delivered to Confederate agents. The agents pretended to condemn the event and "sold" the ship, splitting the sum of $11,000 with those who stole her. On June 9, 1865, flying the flag of the Confederacy, she sailed for Tampico, Mexico.

    [Mexican War]. William Gates Letter Signed "Wm. Gates." One page, 8" x 9.75", "Head Quarters Artillery Battalion", Tampico [Mexico], December 3, 1846, to Franklin Chase appointing him "Actg Collector of the Port of Tampico" after the capture of the port during the first year of the Mexican War. Folds; very fine.

    Additional letters include: Richard Pinckney Letter Signed, August 21 (n. y.), regarding the detainment of the Sloop Robert May in Tuxpan for not having proper receipts for her cargo; Charles R. Webster Autograph Letter Signed, January 13, 1857, informing Chase of his appointment as "consul for Tehuantecpec, and Huatulco"; and Treasury Department Letter, August 24, 1855, informing Ann Chase that "the receipt which you were desired to transmit to this office for the sum of $1913.30...is not absolutely necessary..."

    Also included: Decree by President Benito Juarez to the "Secretary of State and the Dispatch of Foreign Relations." Twenty-one pages, 9" x 14", Vera Cruz, November 26, 1859. Fair copy of a decree by the president establishing consuls, vice-consuls, and consular agents of those countries with which Mexico has peaceful relations with to enter Mexico, granted they have first received an exequatur based on the character of those appointed. What follows is a list of thirty-four articles giving rules for the conduct of the agents as well as the powers of the consul to "further...the interests of their countrymen, specially [sic] of those engaged in commercial pursuits."

    [War of Reform]. El Progreso Broadside regarding the resignation of President Ignacio Comonfort and his subsequent flight to Veracruz one week prior. One Page, in Spanish, 4.75" x 10.75", Vera Cruz, January 28, 1858.

    Also, three payment cards including: One in the amount of two pesos. 7.5" x 3.25", 1839, in Spanish; Carta de Pago. Paid to Franklin Chase in the amount of MXN $63.00, 8.25" x 3.5", 1840, in Spanish; Carta de Pago. Paid to Franklin Chase in the amount of MXN $279.38, 8.25" x 3.5", 1840, in Spanish.


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    3rd Saturday
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