Tarentum, [Pa.]. January 5, 1848. pp. written on folded folio sheet, addressed on verso. Small burn hole in lower left corner not affecting text. Very good. Item #WRCAM15774
Brackenridge is best known for his first book, VIEWS OF LOUISIANA... (Pittsburgh, 1814). Richard Coxe, to whom he addresses this letter, was a distinguished attorney and judge advocate, great-grandson of Daniel Coxe and son of William Coxe. Richard Coxe also published, among other titles, REVIEW OF THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO in 1846.
In this letter, Brackenridge writes about his wish to publish his "Mexican letters," apparently letters in which he expresses his views concerning the on-going Mexican- American War. He regrets that he turned over the original thirty-two letters to the editor of THE COMMERCIAL JOURNAL for publication. The letters reside in the editor's files (Brackenridge only retained ten or twelve of them), but the editor "is a part of fanatics against all war, and especially the Mexican war, and therefore not very anxious for their publication." (Tutorow lists Brackenridge's MEXICAN LETTERS WRITTEN DURING THE PROGRESS OF THE LATE WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO [Washington, 1850]). The rest of the letter is devoted to politics and the Mexican- American War. "You informed W. Irwin, that there was some probability of a new Commission. If the administration should think proper to appoint me, I would serve. In fact, it is the only appointment...I would accept. I regard the UNFINISHED BUSINESS, as properly belonging to me; and but one act of justice on the part of the administration, to allow me to finish it." He goes on to say that he feels the Whig party made many progressive steps, including toward a peace with Mexico. "Such speeches as those of Corwin, and Clay, and Gallatin...encourage her to hold out. The course of the Federalists, had the same effect, during the last war with England; how much more with the ignorant Mexicans." He severely criticizes Gen. Winfield Scott for his arrest of Worth and other officers. The letter is signed, "Your old friend H.M. Brackenridge." A fine letter. DAB II, pp.543-44; IV, pp.487-88.