Choate, Joseph H.


The eminent New York lawyer enjoys the 1891 summer Stockbridge heat


Autograph ID: 6700
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1832-1917) American lawyer and diplomat, associated with many of the most famous litigations in US legal history, including the Kansas Prohibition cases, Chinese exclusion cases, the Maynard election returns case, the Income Tax lawsuit, and the Tilden, Stanford, and A. T. Stewart will cases. He was influential in founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon graduation from Harvard (1852) and Harvard Law School (1854), admitted to the Massachusetts and New York bars and began practice in NYC. In 1860 he became junior partner in the firm of Evarts, Southmayd & Choate, the senior partner being William Evarts. This firm and its successor, Evarts, Choate & Beaman, was for many years among the leading NYC and US law firms. In 1871 he became a member of the Committee of Seventy in NYC, instrumental in breaking up the Tweed Ring and later assisted in prosecuting the indicted officials. He served as president of the American, New York State and New York City Bar associations. In the retrial of the General Fitz-John Porter case he obtained a reversal of the decision of the original court-martial. Allied with the Republican Party from its organization, never held political office. He was appointed by McKinley to be US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, succeeding John Hay, in 1899, remaining until 1905. He was a US representatives to the 2nd Peace Congress at The Hague in 1907. Upon the outbreak of WWI, he ardently supported the Allied cause. He chaired the NYC mayor’s committee for entertaining the British and French commissions in 1917. He was awarded several honorary doctorates and in 1919, members of the NYC Harvard Club established the Joseph Hodges Choate Memorial Fellowship awarded each year to a student from the University of Cambridge for study in any Department of Harvard University.

ALS, 3pp (7 x 4 ½ folded sheet), Stockbridge, Mass., July 14 1891, to Richard Butler, Esq. Choate hopes Butler will visit him in the country as Choate’s wife and daughter are in Germany and he is “not a little lonesome”. Choate is enjoying the “hot weather is fine for my crops – we are now in the midst of haying and the hotter the better.””
Type: Letter

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