Jefferson Davis ALS as Secretary of War, 1855

Davis, Jefferson (1808-1889). ALS as Secretary of War (1853-1857), 1p, War Department, Washington, July 25, 1855. To Inspector General B. Bruce, New York State Militia, Albany. General Bruce inquired about the availability of the US Arsenal at Rome, NY and whether the State of New York could purchase it. Secretary of War Davis replied: "...I have to inform you that the Arsenal, though twice offered for sale, at public auction, has not yet been sold, but is now temporarily occupied as a recruiting rendezvous. Sixteen thousand dollars has been fixed as the value of the property and your State can have it at that price." 

The Arsenal at Rome was built during the War of 1812 (officially opening in 1814) to support American soldiers fighting in that war. It included the arsenal, barracks, workshops, a magazine, and other support structures in a 3 acre complex. Rome is near the center of New York State and would have been an ideal location for troops fighting along the Canadian border and fighting some of England's American Indian allies, especially the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). After the Mexican War, it would appear that the US did not feel it needed this northern arsenal and attempted to sell it. It would remain in use until after the Civil War, being finally decommissioned in 1873.


A few rough edges. Folds as expected. Something (on verso) has been torn out along the right edge, only impacting the "w" in "New." Minor foxing spots.

Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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