Lot #19
William Henry Harrison Autograph Letter Signed

After the Louisiana Purchase, Gov. Harrison oversees the transition of government: "I have delayed in writing...to inform you of the final arrangement of our Government relative to Louisiana"
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Estimate: $8000+

Description

After the Louisiana Purchase, Gov. Harrison oversees the transition of government: "I have delayed in writing...to inform you of the final arrangement of our Government relative to Louisiana"

ALS signed “Will'm Henry Harrison,” one page both sides, 7.75 x 10, February 24, 1804. Handwritten letter as governor of the Indiana Territory to Col. Charles DeHault Delassus, lieutenant governor of Upper Louisiana. In part: "I have delayed writing to you for some time under the expectation of being able to inform you of the final arrangement of our Government relative to Louisiana. I am however disappointed—for as yet I have seen only the draft of a law on the subject which has not yet been adopted—but I believe that or something very like it will ultimately pass. For Upper Louisiana a Governor is to be appointed who is to be vested with all the powers of the late Governor Gen'l and the laws now in force are to prevail. The Commandants however of the several districts are to be appointed by the President."

After some discussion of the pay scale, he continues: "If your venerable father should determine to remain where he is assure him my friend that every exertion in my power will be made to procure for him one of these appointments. I am not by any means sure that I shall succeed, but my friends have some influence. I mean to write myself immediately to the President on the subject, and I have some reason to believe that he will respect my recommendation. I would like to know as soon as possible when you propose to take your departure, and if you go to New Orleans or embark at Philadelphia for Spain—in the latter case I would have the pleasure of seeing you here." In very good to fine condition, with scattered staining, seal-related paper loss to the integral address leaf which also slightly affects the left edge of the first page, and complete silking to the first page and address leaf; the second (signed) page is not silked.

In 1804, after the conclusion of the Louisiana Purchase, Harrison—then serving as governor of the Indiana Territory—was assigned to administer the civilian government of the District of Louisiana. He remained in that position until the Louisiana Territory was formally established on July 4, 1805, and Brigadier General James Wilkinson assumed the duties of governor.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #616 - Ended September 15, 2021