Van Buren, Martin

Martin Van Buren 1831 ALS to Navy Secretary Woodbury assisting a West Point cadet get a Marine Corps appointment

Price: $1050.00

Description:
(1782-1862) Old Kinderhook, 1st President born after Revolution, 1st New Yorker elected President. In 14 weeks in 1828-29 he was NY US Senator, NY Governor and Secretary of State (Jackson). VP 1833-37, President 1837-41. He made three unsuccessful attempts to be reelected, nominated by Democrats in 1840 and losing to Harrison (Van Buren did not carry his own state), losing the 1844 nomination to Polk, and getting no electoral votes as the 1848 Free Soil Party nominee. 7 ¾ x 5 ALS, New York, June 12 1831, 2pp (1st & 2nd pps of folded sheet, docketed on 4th page), 19 days after leaving Jackson's Cabinet, to former colleague Navy Secretary Levi Woodbury, seeking his aid to assist Llewellyn Jones from Van Buren’s home state of New York who wishes to become a U. S. Marine: “Mr. L. Jones will apply to you for an appointment in the Marine Corps. He has been a cadet at West Point & will doubtless explain to the satisfaction of government the cause of his leaving that institution. I believe him to be a young gentleman of worth & capacity. My friend Judge Marcy takes a close interest in his welfare & will be much gratified with anything that can with propriety be done for him. Do me the favor to show this to Mr. J. when he calls…” On May 23 1831, Van Buren resigned as Andrew Jackson’s Secretary of State having been appointed Minister to Great Britain. However, the Senate rejected his nomination on January 25 1832 and Van Buren returned to the US. He remained a favorite of Jackson’s and in less than 2 years would would become Jackson’s Vice President. In the interim, however, he remained a powerful and influential figure. It does not appear that Jones got his wish to become a Marine as he went on to a long career in the Army, serving as an officer in the Mexican War, the Pacific Northwest, and as a major in the 1st US Cavalry in the Civil War. “Marcy” was William L. Marcy, prominent New York Jacksonian in the Senate, later Polk’s Secretary of war and Pierce’s Secretary of State. He is the man who made an art of the “spoils system”, coining the phrase, “to the victor belongs the spoils.” Van Buren evidently wanted Senator Marcy to know the extent of Van Buren’s assistance to him and to Jones. Levi Woodbury would become Secretary of The Treasury for Jackson and Van Buren and later serve on the Supreme Court 1845-51. Very good display of "insider" political connections! IMAGE NOTE: Left part of the image is a photostat of the 4th page with docket and "Gov. Woodbury" (Woodbury had served as New Hampshire's Governor 1823-24)upside down. Center part is photostat of page 1 of the ALS, and the actual page 2 with close and signature is at the right.

Condition: Very Good
Type:Letter






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