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Description: United States House of Representatives member from Massachusetts Caleb Cushing (1800-1879) neatly penned this inquisitive letter to the Postmaster of Middletown in 1836. The letter reads: “Sir, The enclosed letter has come to me from your Office, without signature, although, from the tenor of it, evidently not designed to be anonymous. If the hand-writing should happen to be known to you, so as to enable you to indicate the writer, will you do me the favor to bring the circumstances to his knowledge; since it would give me pleasure to comply with his wishes if I knew his name. Very respectfully yours C. Cushing”.

The verso of the letter bears the postmaster, Charles C. Tyler’s apologetic response: “Sir I sincerely regret that my carelessness should have added to the trouble to which I had taken the liberty to put you. As a general rule, I am far from having any claim to the character of Menaleas and cannot account to myself for my abstraction in this instance; but as I have no circumstantial apology to offer in palliation of my offence, I must rely for pardon upon your general charity.. I am much obliged to you sir for the trouble you took 2 apprise me of the circumstances, as it gives me an opportunity to send the signature thus.. a request, for a compliance with which I am still very desirous. Respectfully yours… Chas. C. Tyler”.

Written on a sheet of stationery that measures approximately 10″ x 8″. Item #A01552

Caleb Cushing served as a U.S. Congressman from 1835 to 1843, and went on to serve as U.S. Minister to China (1844), U.S. Attorney General (1853-1857), and U.S. Minister to Spain (1874-1877). A staunch believer in Manifest Destiny, Cushing pushed for territorial expansion of the United States, helping with the acquisition of Texas and Oregon. He was also a proponent of expanding commercially, negotiating with Colombia for the USA to have a right-of-way for a trans-oceanic canal, preceding the establishment of what would become the Panama Canal. Cushing’s impressive diplomatic record also includes the signing of the first treaty with China, the Treaty of Wangxia of 1844, which gave American merchants trading rights in five Chinese ports.

Condition: Mailing fold lines, remnants of wax seal at upper right corner, otherwise in very good condition with a neat, bold signature.