1865 ALS US CONGRESSMAN HENRY C. DEMING; FORMER COLONEL OF THE 12TH CONNECTICUT INFANTRY, WAR TIME MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS

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2 page letter in ink, dated “Washington Feb’y 3d 1865”. The letter is a response to a request to assist in a Patent Office matter. Measures 8” x 9 ¾”, folded to 8” x 4 7/8”. Excellent, clean condition, all text legible. Fold lines; light band of age yellowing along left edge of page 1 and right edge of page 2.

Deming born in 1815 in Colchester, CT, graduated from Yale College in 1836 and Harvard Law School in 1839. Practiced law briefly before serving as a CT state representative and later a member of the CT state senate. Mayor of Hartford, 1854-58 and 1860-62. Enlisted in September 1861 as Colonel of the 12th Connecticut Infantry; mayor of New Orleans under martial law from October 1862 through February 1863, when he resigned. Elected to US Congress (March 1863 – March 1867); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of War. In 1868 he wrote The Life of Ulysses S. Grant. Appointed by Grant to serve as Collector of Internal Revenue in 1869 and served until his death in 1872.

Text of the letter is as follows:

“The case which you name in yours of the 30th ult. is undoubtedly a very hard one but if you can suggest to me how a ‘representative of the people’ can supply a missing link in testimony your fortune is instantly secured.

Should file a caveat in the Patent Office forthwith. If it was a mere matter of influence I might be able as you intimate to do something with the Department but in these matters of proof the Commissioners on pensions is as inexorable as Shylock and neither your reach or mine would avail anything unless we were backed with the evidence. I should be very happy to oblige you – Mrs. Westland in this case but I do not see what I can do except read your letter to Mr. Holloway. / I am very truly / Henry C. Deming”.

Mr. Holloway was David P. Holloway, Commissioner of Patents, 1861-1865.   [ld]

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