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Gadsden, James (1788-1858) to John Cripps

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03587.07 Author/Creator: Gadsden, James (1788-1858) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 6 January 1854 Pagination: 4 p. : address ; 25.4 x 20 cm.

Writes to his Secretary regarding an upcoming reception at which he does not want to be present. Forwards a letter from J.B. Crocket of San Francisco (not included) who he wants Cripps to assist in deciphering a grant. Is still awaiting the notes from a conference Cripps was to send and explains that he may need to "make war" with Ward, using the notes as leverage. Mentions an upcoming interview with President Pierce and is concerned about his silence on the breach of trust, the center of which Gadsden believes is Ward and his cohorts. Promises that he and his treaty "will stand erect" throughout this ordeal. Wax seal intact. Postmarked 5 February, Washington, D.C. Imprint in upper left corner depicts a capitol building.

Gadsden was a railroad promoter and advocated a Southern rail system, the purpose of which would be to control the trade of the South and the West, thereby freeing those regions from their dependency on the North. To further this end he promoted Southern commercial conventions, and at a convention in 1845 he boldly urged the construction of a railroad to the Pacific. In 1853, when Jefferson Davis was Secretary of War in Pierce's cabinet, Gadsden was appointed minister to Mexico to negotiate for territory along the border. The result was the Gadsden Purchase. He was recalled in 1856 for exceeding his instructions. Cripps was General Gadsden's Secretary and a sawyer by profession.

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