Washington DC: Original, 1835. Original. 3 PP on two adjoining sheets. Measures 8 X 12 1/2 inches. Very Good. Item #2495
Lengthy OFFICIAL Government Endorsement in the hand of Secretary of State John Forsyth. Submitted to President Andrew Jackson and signed by Jackson as President of the United States.
The letter, sent to Jackson for approval, concerns the allegations that an American citizen residing in France at the time, was representing himself as an official from the United States. This obviously came to the attention of the American Minister to France, Levett Harris, who is mentioned by Forsyth as being his source for this information. A pivotal time in American relations with France, as Jackson had all but called them to the carpet for not paying debts owed to the United States in both his 1834 and 1835 State of the Union Address.
The letter reads:
"To the President of the United States
Department of State
Washington, 18th June, 1835
I have the honor to present for the examination of the President, three letters received at the Department from Levett Harris, Esquire, dated at Paris, on the 19th, 23rd and 30th of April... The unsolicited communications to the Department by citizens of the United States of fact that may come to their knowledge while residing abroad, likely to be interesting to their country, are always received with pleasure, and carefully preserved in the files of the Government. Even opinions on foreign topics are received with proper respect for the motives and character of those who may choose to express them.
But holding it both improper and dangerous to countenance any of our citizens occupying no public station, in holding confidential communications on our affairs with a foreign government at which we have an accredited agent, upon a subject involving the honor of the country, without the knowledge of such agent, and virtually substituting himself as the channel of communication between that Government and his own, I considered it my duty to invite Mr. Pageot to the Department, to apprise him of the contents of Mr. Harris's letter of the 23rd of April, and at the same time to inform him that he might communicated the fact to the Duke de Broglie that no notice could be taken of Mr. Harris and his communications...
I was satisfied with the assurances Mr. Pageot gave me, that he would immediately state what had occurred to his Government.
All which is respectfully submitted, with the hope, if the course pursued is approved by the President, that this report may be filed in this Department with all the letters to which it refers.
APPROVED, ANDREW JACKSON"
It is likely that the issue concerning the "honor of the country" that is mentioned is in fact the debts owed to the United States by France at this time. These debts were compensation claims of American citizens for damages caused by the French back to the Napoleonic era. The damages were finally paid the United States in 1836. It is likely that the "Duke de Broglie" referenced is Achille-Leonce-Victor-Charles, 3rd duc de Broglie, Prime Minister of France at the time of this letter.
Light toning and a hint of wear at folds.