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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Dana, Samuel (1767-1835) to Joseph B. Varnum

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03845.07 Author/Creator: Dana, Samuel (1767-1835) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 1 December 1808 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 22.6 x 18.2 cm.

Massachusetts Congressman Samuel Dana introduces William Whittemore to Varnum, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Informs Varnum that Whittemore will be travelling to Washington, D.C. in order to preserve the patent for "the exclusive use of his machines."

The Whittemore family, including Amos, Samuel and William, created a machine to mass-produce the cards used for straightening the fibers of cotton and wool. William also served as a Massachusetts State Representative (1804-1806) and State Senator (1820-1821).

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