Nelson, Samuel


Justice Nelson declines a Congressional banquet invitation to celebrate Washington’s birthday


Autograph ID: 1267
Condition: Very good, some mild edge chipping not affecting any content
Description: “(1792-1873) New York lawyer and jurist, Associate Justice 1845-72, a conservative pro-slavery Democrat who opined that the Illinois law granting freedom to Dred Scott did not have jurisdiction in Missouri. He dissented in the 1863 “Prize Cases” stating that the northern blockade of southern ports was illegal unless Congress declared a war but while sitting on circuit courts he enforced the court’s ruling on each case’s merits. Served as a member of the post-War Alabama Claims Commission applying his expertise in admiralty law.

10 ¼ x 7 ¾ ALS on grey paper while Associate Justice, Washington, February 20 1852, to a committee of 5 Members of Congress (W. H. Bissell-Ill.; J. H. H. Haws-NY; Wm. R. Smith-Ala.; Alexander Evans-Md.; and Volney E. Howard-Tx.) who had invited Nelson to a congressional banquet celebrating Washington’s birthday, “…evincing a becoming respect to his high character, and illustrious services, and of offering [?], and re-asserting the principles set forth in his Farewell Address to the American people.” Nelson, however, must decline because of the pressure of official engagements but thanks the Committee for their invitation.”
Type: Letter

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