Description: In August of 1849, a few months after ending his tenure as Secretary of State, James Buchanan wrote this great letter from Wheatland, his home near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to his sixteen year old nephew (and legal ward), James Buchanan Henry, who was away at boarding school in West Chester, PA.
"My Dear James, Some person, I do not recollect whom, told me when I was at West Chester that Mr. Bolmar took delight in raising Newfoundland dogs. I am very desirous of obtaining a good watch dog for the [county?]; and if he could spare me one that was young, or one that he thought would suit me, I should feel greatly indebted to him. If so, you might make the dog's acquaintance before the vacation and bring him along. A friend in Washington sent me one, with great commendations; but he is absolutely worthless. Please inform me when your vacation will commence, and whether I can obtain a dog from Mr. Bolmar that he thinks would suit me." Buchanan signed off "Yours affectionately, James Buchanan"
James Buchanan (1791-1868) was a lawyer, US Representative, US Senator, Minister to Russia and Great Britain, and Secretary of State before being elected the 15th President of the United States. He served from 1857-1861; the devolving debate over slavery and the Panic of 1857 dominated his term in office.
Antoine Jean Claude Brunin de Bolmar (1797-1861) was founder and principal of Bolmar's School for Boys, the popular and highly regarded boarding school attended by James B. Henry. The school drew pupils from all over the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Written in ink on the first page of a sheet of plain writing paper; measures approximately 9.75" x 8" when folded. Integral address leaf on page four; postmarked from Lancaster, PA, with 5 cents postage paid. Docketed received the next day. Item #A00726
Condition: The paper was silked on both sides,an older conservation technique. Under the silking there are some tears, particularly from the opening of the seal, and there are separations and chips along some of the fold lines. Paper loss is fairly minimal, and is made less obvious by the silking. There is also scattered foxing and staining. Buchanan's signature is completely intact and quite clean. Overall in good condition.