Dallas, Alexander J.

1815 ALS as 6th Treasury Secretary to exiled Irish revolutionary, now New York lawyer, Thomas Aldis Emmet

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Description:
(1759-1817) Jamaica-born statesman, 6th Treasury Secretary 1814-16 (Madison), 1st reporter of US Supreme Court decisions. Moved to Philadelphia in 1783, admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1785. His law practice was slow and on the side he edited the Pennsylvania Herald 1787-88 and the Columbian Magazine 1787-89. When the US Supreme Court came to Philadelphia in 1791, he would become their first reporter of decisions starting with West v. Barnes (1791). Because the post was unofficial, he did his work from his own funds. The 4 volumes he produced were incomplete, inaccurate, and extremely tardy. For example, the 1793 landmark ruling in Chisholm v. Georgia that prompted the 11th Amendment, was not reported by Dallas until 5 years later, well after the Amendment was ratified. He abandoned reporting of decisions when the Court moved to Washington. Governor Thomas Mifflin named him Secretary of the Commonwealth, a post he held 1791-1801. As Mifflin was an alcoholic, Dallas functioned as de facto governor for much of the late 1790s. Dallas helped found the Democratic-Republican Party in Pennsylvania and advocated strict construction of the new Constitution. In 1801, he was named US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and served until 1814. When his friend Albert Gallatin was Treasury Secretary when the War of 1812 began, he helped Gallatin obtain funds to fight Britain. The war nearly bankrupted the Federal Government by the time Dallas replaced Gallatin as Secretary. He reorganized the Department, brought the government budget back into surplus, championed the creation of the Second Bank of the United States, and put the nation back on the specie system. He was acting Secretary of War March 2-Aug. 1, 1815 and for a time that year was acting Secretary of State as well. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society from 1791 and a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. Dallas County, Alabama and Dallas Township, Pennsylvania are named for him. His son George Mifflin Dallas was Vice President under Polk. 10 x 8 ALS while Treasury Secretary, Treasury Department (Washington), May 11 1815, to New York lawyer Thomas Addis Emmet. Secretary Dallas has just returned to Washington and has sent the petition of Messrs. Fisher, Adams and Lawson for a decision. He informs Emmet that a warrant will issue discharging the petitoners as insolvent debtors. Thomas Addis Emmet (1764-1827) Irish & American lawyer and politician, a senior member of the revolutionary republican group United Irishmen in the 1790s, New York State Attorney General 1812-13. He was the elder brother of Robert Emmet, executed for leading the Irish Rebellion of 1803, one of Ireland's most famous Republican martyrs. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he later studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, but opted to forsake medicine for the law. Emmet became involved with the campaign to extend the democratic franchise for the Irish Parliament and end discrimination against Catholics. He was called to the Irish bar in 1790 and obtained a practice, principally as counsel for prisoners charged with political offenses. He also became legal adviser of the Society of the United Irishmen. When the Dublin corporation issued a declaration of support of the Protestant ascendancy in 1792, the response of the United Irishmen was a non-sectarian manifesto, largely drawn up by Emmet. In 1795 he took the oath of the United Irishmen, becoming secretary the same year and a member of the executive in 1797. He was arrested and imprisoned first at Kilmainham Jail and later in Scotland at Fort George until 1802. He received news of the failure of Robert Emmet's rising in July 1803 and emigrated to the United States. He joined the New York bar and had a lucrative practice. He was counsel for Aaron Ogden in the landmark case of Gibbons v. Ogden (1824, relating to the Commerce and Supremacy clauses of the United States Constitution). Appointed New York State Attorney General August 1812, he was removed in February 1813 when the Federalist Party obtained a majority in the Council of Appointment. He is the great-great-grandfather of the playwright Robert Emmet Sherwood.

Condition: Very good, folds, 2 insignificant spots
Type:Letter






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