Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Aug 1987
|26 Dec 2007||converted to EAD (MRC)|
Overview of the Collection
|Creator:||Hunt, Washington, 1811-1867.|
|Title:||Washington Hunt Letters|
|Quantity:||18 items (SC).|
|Abstract:||Papers of the New York State Governor, 1851-1853.|
|Abstract:||Correspondence concerning land sales and real estate tax laws (William C. Bouck, James L. Graham, James Madison Porter); the Erie Canal; regionalism and the Civil War (Samuel B. Ruggles, William Shelton); and the death and character of William L. Marcy (Ruggles).|
|Repository:||Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
Washington Hunt (1811-1867) was born in Windham, New YOrk. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1834, and commenced practice in Lockport, New York. After an unsuccessful attempt in 1836 for election to Congress, he was appointed judge of the court of common pleas of Niagara County, a position he held from 1836-1841. He later ran successfully as the Whig party candidate for Congress and served six years (1843-1849); during his tenure he served as chairman of the Committee on Commerce. Hunt served as comptroller of New York in 1849 and 1850 and was then elected Governor of the State from 1850-1852. After his retirement to his farm in Lockport, he served as temporary chairman of the Whig National Convention in 1856 and as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1864. In 1860 he was offered (but declined) the Democratic nomination for Vice President.
The Washington Hunt Letters consist of personal and business correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, concerning national and local (New York State) issues. Topics discussed include land sales (William C. Bouck, John L. Graham) and the purchase of a railroad (M. W. Brown). There are also two letters to the Commissioners of the Canal Fund concerning legislative opposition to the (Erie) Canal Law. Of particular interest is a letter to Samuel Ruggles in which Hunt discusses the death and character of William L. Marcy.
In letters to both William Shelton and Ruggles, Hunt deplores the regional interests which threaten to divide the country and in an 1855 letter to the latter, Hunt writes:
...We have turned back the portentous tide of sectional fanatacism and the country is saved from the dark calamities which seemed to be almost upon us...The demon of discord may continue to roar and growl, but his back is broken, and we may dismiss our apprehensions.
At the height of the Civil War, in an 1862 letter to Shelton, Hunt states, "My heart is heavy and sorrowful when I think of these tens and hundreds of thousands of kindred American citizens seeking to shed each others blood."
An incoming letter from James Madison Porter requests information concerning tax law and the sale of real estate in New York State. In an 1836 letter to Graham, Hunt expresses his belief that the state should not legislate land sales: "His Excellency must leave men to buy and sell according to their own ideas of pecuniary advantage."
Letters are arranged alphabetically.
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Bouck, William C., 1786-1859.
Graham, James Lorimer.
Hunt, Washington, 1811-1867.
Marcy, William L. (William Learned), 1786-1857.
Porter, James Madison, 1793-1862.
Ruggles, Samuel B. (Samuel Bulkley), 1800-1881.
Shelton, William, -1699.
Governors, New York (State)
Erie Canal (N.Y.)
New York (State), History, 1775-1865.
Genres and Forms
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Washington Hunt Letters,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
|SC 34||Bouck, William C. (incoming) 17 Nov 1850|
|SC 34||Brown, M. W. (outgoing) 3 Jun 1848|
|SC 34||Commissioners of the Canal Fund (outgoing) 1852|
|SC 34||Gales & Seaton (outgoing) 14 Jun 1844|
|SC 34||Graham, John Lorimer (outgoing) 1836, 1838, 1845|
|SC 34||Morgan, Christopher (outgoing) 10 Jul 1850|
|SC 34||National Intelligencer (outgoing) 15 Dec 1848|
|SC 34||Porter, James Madison (incoming) 16 Jul 1852|
|SC 34||Preston, William Ballard (outgoing) 25 Apr 1849|
|SC 34||Ruggles, Samuel Bulkley (outgoing) 1855, 1857|
|SC 34||Shelton, William (outgoing) 1859, 1862|
|SC 34||Spalding, L. A. (outgoing) 23 Jan 1857|