Civil War President Cand New Jersey Senator Minister France Signed Letter 1849

Civil War President Cand New Jersey Senator Minister France Signed Letter 1849

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Civil War President Cand New Jersey Senator Minister France Signed Letter 1849 :

William Lewis Dayton
(1807 – 1864)
Civil War era Republican Vice Presidential Candidate with General Fremont in 1856,
19th Century United States Senator from New Jersey,
Appointed United States Civil War Minister to France by President Lincoln in 1861
Judge of the NJ Supreme Court - One of the Great American Politicians!

Here’s an 1849 Autograph Letter Signed by Dayton to the Honorable Senator Thomas Ewing, Secretary of the Interior [addressed to Ewing on the integral leaf - hand-carried letter with no postal markings on the address leaf] . Dayton writes a glowing letter of introduction for Mr. Samuel Gummere of Trenton, NJ., Clerk of the Chancery Court of NJ. Dayton boldly signs, "Wm. L. Dayton."

Dayton was New Jersey's Attorney General until 1861, when President Lincoln appointed him Minister to France, serving in that role from 1861–1864 throughout most of the American Civil War. There, Dayton successfully lobbied the government of Napoleon III not to recognize the independence of the Confederacy or allow it the use of French ports. Dayton died in Paris in 1864 while serving in that capacity. Dayton's son, William Lewis Dayton, Jr. (1839–1897), graduated from Princeton in 1858 and served as President Chester A. Arthur's Minister to the Netherlands from 1882–1885. The document measures 6" x 8" and is in very good, clean condition - boldly executed by Sen. Dayton. NOTE: THE 19TH CENTURY PERIOD ENGRAVING IS INCLUDED WITH THE AUTOGRAPH!!

A RARE addition to your Civil War era Presidential History Autograph & Manuscript Memorabilia Collection!


Dayton, William Lewis (17 Feb. 1807-1 Dec. 1864), politician and diplomat, was born at Baskingridge, New Jersey, the son of Joel Dayton, a shoemaker, and Nancy Lewis. After attending a local academy, he matriculated at Princeton College, graduating in 1825 as an "ordinary member" of his class. While teaching school he studied law in Somerville and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1830. In 1833 he married Margaret Elmendorf Van Der Veer; they had seven children.

Benefiting politically from the nationwide economic collapse in 1837, Dayton was elected to the New Jersey legislature as a Whig. He held his seat for only a few weeks before accepting an appointment at age thirty-one as an associate justice of the state supreme court. After occupying a seat on New Jersey's highest tribunal for less than four years, Dayton, lamenting that his judicial salary was too meager to support his growing family, resigned his judgeship in 1841 to reenter private law practice in Trenton. He had scarcely opened an office and begun to accumulate clients when in 1842 Governor William Pennington (1796-1862) appointed him--on the death of Dayton's distinguished cousin Samuel Lewis Southard--to fill the latter's unexpired term as a U.S. senator. Dayton was only thirty-five years old. Reelected by the New Jersey legislature in 1845 for a full six-year term, Dayton was a senator until March 1851. His contributions to the legislation of this era were few, partly because his party was out of power much of the time and partly because of his cautious, self-effacing nature and his insistence on remaining politically independent, refusing to act against his personal convictions under pressure from leaders of the legislature, to which he was beholden for his Senate seat. Eschewing notoriety, he was esteemed more for his quiet common sense than for oratorical eloquence or vision. On one issue Dayton stood out among his fellow senators. At a time when it would have been politically expedient in New Jersey, the northern state most sympathetic to the South's "peculiar institution," to refrain from antislavery pronouncements, Dayton voted against making war on Mexico as a way of expanding slave territory, supported the Wilmont Proviso excluding slavery from the lands acquired from Mexico, opposed the admission of Texas as a slave state, and spoke vehemently against the Compromise of 1850 as enhancing the power of slavery.With the return of the Democrats to power in the New Jersey legislature, Dayton lost his Senate seat. In March 1851 he resumed the practice of law. He continued to be politically active, however, and in 1856 he joined the newly formed Republican party. Within a few weeks he became its first vice presidential nominee on the national ticket with John Charles Frémont, having outpolled Abraham Lincoln of Illinois in the scramble for delegate votes at the first Republican National Nominating Convention at Philadelphia. Following the defeat of the Republican ticket in November, Dayton had hardly returned once more to his private law practice when he was appointed attorney general of New Jersey. He held that position from 1857 until early 1861, when he resigned to accept a diplomatic appointment from the first Republican president. Lincoln, who as a young congressman had admired Dayton's independent antislavery stand in the U.S. Senate, wanted to make the New Jersey lawyer his minister to Great Britain. Only the determination of Secretary of State William Seward to have the London mission occupied by his friend Charles Francis Adams (1807 -1886) persuaded Lincoln reluctantly to send Dayton to Paris instead. At the court of the Emperor Louis Napoleon, Dayton served creditably as the American envoy, despite his inability to speak or to understand French. Ably supported by the American consul, John Bigelow, and wisely guided by Seward, Dayton helped to fend off European intervention on the side of the Confederate States of America that might have permanently divided the American Union. In scores of interviews with French officials, he vigorously argued against assistance to the Confederate cause, making good use of French suspicions of the British to undermine the "understanding" that the two European powers had developed with regard to the United States. Among the problems with which Dayton successfully grappled during the Civil War were Napoleon's sponsorship of Maximilian's puppet government in Mexico, southern efforts to construct warships in French shipyards, and the cotton shortage in Europe, which provided a pretext for Anglo-French intervention in the American conflict.Inexperienced in international relations and therefore feeling his way at the outset of his mission, Dayton eventually became an able diplomatist. Dignified and diligent, he won the respect of two notable French foreign ministers, Antoine Edouard Thouvenel and Edouard Drouyn de Lhuys. Americans living in or traveling through Paris found him honorable, generous, affable, and urbane, and his colleagues in the corps diplomatique remarked upon his discretion and prudence as he labored to preserve amicable relations between the United States and France in the face of great danger of a Franco-American clash of arms.An increasing addiction to the pleasures of the table exacerbated Dayton's chronic ill health by 1864. His sudden death late that year in the apartment of a well-known courtesan created a delicate situation when friends delivered his body unexpectedly to his wife at their Paris residence. He was eventually buried in Riverview Cemetery at Trenton.Despite being in poor health much of his life, Dayton played a significant role in the political history of New Jersey. As the U.S. minister in France during the Civil War, he labored successfully to maintain good relations between his government and that of Napoleon III in circumstances where a more impulsive or less judicious diplomat might well have helped to trigger a transatlantic war. Bibliography: The only substantial collection of Dayton's papers is at the Princeton University Library. Scattered correspondence is in the collected papers of many contemporaries. All of Dayton's official correspondence during his ministerial service at Paris is in the State Department records, RG 59, National Archives. Nothing approaching a full-scale biography of Dayton has yet been published. Two sketches are Walter L. Whittlesey, "William Lewis Dayton, 1825: Senator--Presidential Candidate--Civil War Minister to France--A Forgotten Princetonian Who Served His Country Well," Princeton Alumni Weekly 30 (9 May 1930): 797-802, and J. P. Bradley, "A Memoir of the Life and Character of Hon. Wm. L. Dayton," Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, 2d ser., 4 (1875): 69 -118. Dayton's early career is discussed in Lucius Q. C. Elmer, The Constitution and Government of the Province and State of New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of the Governors from 1776 to 1845. And Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar, during More Than Half a Century (1872). Dayton's diplomatic service during the Civil War is treated in John Bigelow, Retrospections of an Active Life (3 vols., 1909), and Lynn M. Case and Warren F. Spencer, The United States and France: Civil War Diplomacy (1970).[SOURCE: American National Biography]

I am a proud member of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC), The Ephemera Society of America, the Manuscript Society and the American Political Items Collectors (APIC) (member name: John Lissandrello). I subscribe to each organizations' code of ethics and authenticity is guaranteed. ~Providing quality service and historical memorabilia online for over ten years.~


Civil War President Cand New Jersey Senator Minister France Signed Letter 1849 :

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