McLane, Louis

1841 ALS while Baltimore & Ohio Railroad president to a Baltimore merchant & collector

Price: $85.00

Description:
(1786-1857) Delaware Federalist US Rep 1817-27, US Senator 1827-29. As Minister to England 1829-31, he opened up US-British West Indies trade. When Jackson purged his Cabinet of Calhoun supporters, he appointed McLane Secretary of the Treasury 1831-33. Major issues confronting him were tariff rates and status of the Second Bank of the United States. He sought to work out plan with Nicholas Biddle for renewal of Bank’s charter in return for retirement of national debt, key objective of Jackson. Jackson removed Bank issue from McLane’s purview, and when McLane refused to remove governments deposits from the Bank, Jackson replaced him and named him Secretary of State in a recess appointment, serving May 29, 1833-June 30, 1834. McLane managed dispute with France, the “Spoliation Claims” (in 1832 France agreed to reimburse US for certain shipping losses incurred during Napoleonic Wars, funds never appropriated). Jackson worked with McLane to develop hard line with France. VP Van Buren, without consulting McLane, convinced Jackson to give France more time. McLane, furious with his old mentor, resigned, ending their friendship. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad president to 1848, on leave of absence 1845-46 as Polk’s Minister to England, coordinating negotiations over Oregon boundary. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad operated between Baltimore and Washington, but its ambition was to build a route to the Ohio River and move commerce from the west thru Baltimore. In 1837 the western tracks went only as far as Harpers Ferry, and his great accomplishment was seeing to the extension of the “main line” as far as Cumberland, Maryland which brought the route into proximity with enough coalfields to provide regular profit. The profits were not substantial, however, and McLane was consumed with financing rearrangements and negotiations with Pennsylvania and Virginia over possible routes west. Ultimately Wheeling and an all Virginia route was decided upon, but it was left to his immediate successor to see the goal realized. 10 x 8 ALS, no place, March 10 (1841), 1-¼pp with integral address leaf, to Robert Gilmor, Baltimore. McLane, then President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, returns a letter from a Mr. Sullivan with whom he has communicated regarding “his discovery.” McLane regrets to hear of Gilmor’s indisposition, his constant absence from Annapolis has prevented McLane from frequently inquiring as to Gilmor’s situation. He is glad of his improvement and sends regards to Mrs. Gilmor. Docket on address leaf, possibly in autograph collector Gilmor’s hand, with date, noting McLane as “Secty of United States Treasury”. Robert Gilmor, Jr. (1774-1848) Baltimore merchant, ship owner, East-Indian importer and collector of art, rare books, autographs, coins, antiquities, stamps, minerals and rocks. His art collection consisted primarily of 14th century Old Masters and 17th century Dutch & Flemish works. He was a supporter of American artists and owned works by Francis Guy, Thomas Cole, Horatio Greenough, Gilbert Stuart, Thomas Sully, Henry Inman, John Trumbull, and A.S. Mount. The Gilmor family was among Baltimore’s most prominent: Gilmor Street in Baltimore bears their name. He was intellectually gifted and well-traveled, and moved in influential circles. During the early 1800s he developed pulmonary problems and his physician prescribed a trip far away from a Maryland winter. Having never seen the deep South, he set out for Charleston, So. Carolina. He kept a journal of the 1806-1807 trip, "Notes taken in a tour through the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina in the year 1806." His object was to produce a Baedeker guide with mileage and tavern information that might prove useful to his friends. His narrative of his journey from Maryland to South Carolina records detailed observations on the towns, landscapes, people, and Revolutionary War sites he encountered on his journey. Mileage lists record overland distances between Baltimore and other cities, with names of available taverns and lodgings along the way; routes and cities mentioned include Charleston, Savannah, Philadelphia, Boston, New York City and Albany, NY. He recorded mileagege from major cities to various east coast hot springs resorts. Noting the impact of improved transportation routes, he included a table of distances "From Baltimore to New York by the new turnpike from Trenton."

Condition: Good, folds, few tiny old paper tape repairs at bottom of signature page (not affecting signature)
Type:Letter






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