1832 Autograph Letter Signed from David Rittenhouse Porter on a controversy over canals with appended Autograph Note Signed from General Samuel McKean.
Expanding canal and railroad networks
In this 1832 autograph letter signed, future governor of Pennsylvania David Rittenhouse Porter writes to General Samuel McKean. At this point in his career, Porter was Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and soon-to-be-elected U.S. Senator.
Porter outlines his dilemma over another letter he had previously sent to the state’s Canal Commissioners.
I have only one objection to having my letter laid before the board of Canal Com[missione]rs. It is possible that there may have been some misapprehension as to the precise words used by William Williams the collector on the morning of the election. He has been charged with it, and has been getting up proof from among the opposition which go in some measure. it is said to qualify his expressions. All that is said in my letter of Taggert and Painter I will stand by and maintain before any tribunal in christendom. I wrote to John Mitchell the substance of my letter to you, omitting what concerns Williams. I have this day had a full and free conversation with W. Clarke on the subject. In fact he has received such a demonstration of public feeling here as no man can mistake. I think he is fully satisfied. I feel confident that as soon as the Report is made out (the latter end of the month) that a removal of the superintendent will take place. In Williams’ case, an appeal will be made to the feelings of [the] Com[missione]rs. As an individual I would not urge his removal His conduct has been highly exceptionable. And I am by no means prepared to say that any thing short of his removal will satisfy the just expectations of the friends of the Adm[inistratio]n generally in this quarter. If it be that necessary to lay my former letter before the Com[missione]rs I would prefer that this should accompany it.
It appears that McKean was sympathetic to Porter’s plea to “spin” his original criticism. In the margin of Porter’s letter, McKean dashes off a quick signed note to then Governor George Wolf:
The Gov[ernor] will please let this and Mr. Porter’s other letter be submitted in confidence to Mesrs. Clark & Mitchell only.
In the face of “misapprehension,” David Rittenhouse Porter deftly makes sure his clarified views on the canal situation are heard.
After his own election as governor in 1838, Porter maintained his interest is expanding canal and railroad networks throughout Pennsylvania and to points west.
Description: 1832 Autograph Letter Signed from David Rittenhouse Porter on a controversy over canals with appended Autograph Note Signed from General Samuel McKean.
Huntingdon [Pennsylvania]. 17th Octo. 1832. p. Quarto. Bifolium with integral address leaf; wove paper. With integral signed three-line transmittal note from recipient. Folds; some loss at wax seal, not affecting text; very good.