Smith, Robert

1792 legal ALS to Robert Carter III from the future Jefferson-Madison Cabinet member

Price: $175.00

Description:
(1757-1842) 2nd Secretary of the Navy 1801-09, 6th Secretary of State 1809-11. Born in Lancaster, Penna., served in the Continental Army. College of New Jersey (Princeton) 1781 graduate, practiced law in Maryland. He was Presidential Elector for Maryland in 1789, state senator 1793-95, member of Maryland House of Delegates 1796-1800. President Jefferson appointed him Secretary of the Navy in July 1801. On March 2, 1805, the Senate confirmed the appointments of Smith as Attorney General and Jacob Crowninshield as Secretary of the Navy. However, Crowninshield declined his appointment, so Smith briefly served as Attorney General and Secretary of the Navy until Jefferson appointed John Breckinridge to replace Smith as Attorney General. He left the office of Secretary of the Navy at the end of Jefferson's administration and Madison immediately appointed him Secretary of State, serving March 6, 1809 until his forced resignation April 1, 1811. He was closely allied with his brother, Maryland Senator Samuel Smith. Madison thought he could be his own Secretary of State, but Smith so often pursued opposite policies that Madison finally demanded his resignation. Madison offered Smith the post of Minister to Russia, but he refused the post. Smith became president of the not-yet-fully-organized American Bible Society in 1813. In 1818, he became founding president of the Maryland Agriculture Society. 12 x 7 ¼ ALS while Baltimore lawyer, July 2 1792, 1-1/2 pps (folded letter with integral address leaf), to Robert Carter at Baltimore Furnace. Smith acknowledges receipt of a joint bond of Daniel Bowley and George Luce and that “every requisite attention shall be given to” the prosecution of Carter’s lawsuit and Smith expects a judgment for him a year from the coming October. Robert "Councillor" Carter III (1727/28-1804). Grandson of Robert "King" Carter (1662/63-1732) Virginia plantation owner, land baron and businessman, one of the wealthiest men in the colonies. He had an interest in the Baltimore Iron Works organized in 1731 and used part of his shares of the iron to manufacture implements at his plantation’s own smithy. In 1758, King George II appointed Robert Carter III to the Virginia Governor's Council and he received a new commission from King George III. He resigned as Councillor and eventually supported the American cause in the Revolution. After his wife’s death in 1787, Carter embraced the Swedenborgian faith and beginning in 1791 and up to his death, he freed 452 slaves from his Westmoreland County, Virginia plantation. His manumission is the largest known release of slaves in North American history before the Civil War and the largest number ever manumitted by an individual in the US. Toward the end of his life, Carter moved to Baltimore to distance himself from family and neighbors who opposed his Swedenborgian faith and program of manumission.

Condition: Very good, folds
Type:Letter






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