Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878) to Hamilton A. Hill

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02595 Author/Creator: Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 February 1876 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Urges that "the present is as favorable a time as we can expect for the agitation of the free trade question." Explains the importance of free trade and elimination of a protective tariff. Declares that "During the war the country went back to a state of ignorance and prejudice on the question of free exchange," and that a new generation "who know nothing of the subject [...] easily adopted the plausibilities of the protectionists." Argues that "the currency question" is "no doubt extremely important," but "who knows when it will be settled? By waiting for it, we may produce the impression that we acquiesce in a protective tariff." Declares that protest and agitation are necessary now.

People: Bryant, William Cullen, 1794-1878.
Hill, Hamilton A., fl. 1876.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Commerce, Merchants and Trade, Finance, Economics, Government and Civics, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Global History and US Foreign Policy, Military History, Civil War, Coins and Currency, Law, Politics

Sub Era: Reconstruction