[Hawthorne Cottage, Roxbury, Ma.]. Dec. 9, 1848. [1 1/2]pp. on folded quarto sheet, blank integral leaf present. Light fold lines. Quite clean. Very good. In a half morocco box. Item #WRCAM30437
An engaging letter, discussing the state of the United States Exploring Expedition, and particularly William Emory's NOTES OF A MILITARY RECONNOISSANCE..., which was published shortly before this letter was written. Emory's text was a landmark in the history of California and the Far Southwest, and includes some of the first American views of the region. In his letter to Col. Abert, whose son was a member of the expedition, Dearborn lauds the courage and accomplishments of the brash young gentlemen of the army such as Emory and Abert's son, for bringing honor to themselves and to the country. The letter reads: "I am most grateful for Lt. Emory's RECONNOISSANCE in Mexico and California which you so kindly sent to me. I had before read from various Reports of his duties in the same expedition, as far as he descended the Rio Grande. I can not, insufficiently express [?] given the opinion I have formed of the meritorious labors of those officers. For scientific facts, in the geography, and natural history of those regions, the country is under the greatest obligations. They have energetically, have cheerfully, have patriotically and have gallantly did they discharge their so various and multifarious duties. Such services not only reflect the highest honor on those estimable young gentlemen, and on the group to which they belong but on the country, which can boast of much accomplished officers." Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn, like his illustrious father, spent a career in public service, most famously as the collector of the port of Boston. At the time of writing, Dearborn was the mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts. His enthusiastic response to Emory's report represents the optimism that Emory's and other expedition reports fostered among influential members of the upper class. The underlying hope was that the lands acquired in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo would prove fruitful and offer a vast new arena for physical and economic expansion. DAB V, pp.176-77. APPLETON'S CYCLOPÆDIA I, pp.8-9.