1832 Martin Van Buren Handwritten Letter

Sold For: $533

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1422

Item Year: 1832

Category: Historical/Political

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Two-page handwritten letter (one each side of a single sheet), dated August 2, 1832, signed by Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), eighth President of the United States. In his letter, Van Buren writes to his good friend and former law partner, Benjamin. F. Butler, apparently seeking his advice. Although the decipherment of Van Buren's penmanship is challenging, we can make out a few passages. In part:
I regretted soon after my letter had gone that I made any suggestion about your coming down for fear there might be some difficulty or possible objection to your doing so...I shall go to Kinderhook tomorrow...I have promised to advise Gov. Throop...I shall remain there till Albany is free of Cholera...From that place I can be in constant communication with you...I send you the letter of the Committee...for criticism. Say in your own words what you would say in my situation. Review (?) it with some of my friends...& consult with & give to me your reply. I have already been guilty of some delay...Your affectionate and devoted friend, M Van Buren.

Both the text and signature have been scripted in black ink and grade "8/9." Van Buren had been nominated for vice president on the Andrew Jackson ticket at the 1832 Democratic National Convention, which was held in May. Both Van Buren and Butler were leading members of the Albany Regency, a small group of politicians who controlled the New York State government from 1822 to 1838. Van Buren, who earlier had served as Secretary of State under Jackson, also later served as his vice president, before succeeding him as President in 1837. Butler later served as United States Attorney General under both Jackson and Van Buren. The letter (8 x 12.75 inches) displays a number of vertical and horizontal fold lines, a number of tiny edge tears, and a few small areas of light discoloration. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $533

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