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Sale 38 Lot 173

A superb small archive of material relating to the proposed withdrawal of funding of the American arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, including a Davis A.L.S. and L.S., with three A.L.S.'s from Congressman CHARLES JAMES FAULKNER (1806-1884) who helped write the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and incredibly would serve on Stonewall Jackson's staff when Jackson's army surrounded and captured the 12,500-man Union garrison at Harpers Ferry in 1862! In chronological order, the first letter was written by Faulkner, then representing the Harpers Ferry district, to Davis, then serving as Secretary of War, 1p. 4to., Washington, Aug. 27, 1856 expressing his worry about rumors circulating that the War Department would: "...stop further operations at the National Armory". Davis replies in an A.L.S. 2pp. 8vo., [Washington] Aug. 27, 1856: "...Instructions have been given not to continue any work at the armories or arsenals for which there are not available means. This will not stop the manufacture of arms immediately but the appropriation for improvements and repairs at the armories will serve for a short time longer to continue the last mentioned operations. It is a disagreeable and injurious necessity and I sincerely sympathise...". The next day, Faulkner pens an initialed A.L.S. 1p. 4to. from Washington enclosing a copy of a letter he has that day sent to President Franklin Pierce (included in this lot) in which Faulkner pleads that many of his constituents will become unemployed, strongly making his points, and urging that the government seek to borrow the necessary funds to continue operations at the arsenals and armories. On September 1st, Davis replies to Faulkner with a manuscript L.S. 1p. 4to., War Dept., Washington, acknowledging the President's receipt of Faulkner's letter and summarizing its contents. . He adds: "...your letter has been returned by the President to this department with the following endorsement thereon: 'I return herewith the letter of Mr. Faulkner...covered by a note to you of the same date. The Army appropriation bill having passed and having received my approval to-day, it is unnecessary to decide the question presented...". A terrific correspondence, only lightly soiled, overall very good.
Estimate $ 1,500-2,000

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