Letter Signed.

CURTIS, George Ticknor (1812-94).

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The reknowned New York attorney is remembered as counsel for the plaintiff in the Dred Scott case; he also authored the landmark "Constitutional History of the United States" (1889). LS, 2pp, 7 3/4" X 9 3/4", New York, NY 1864 May 2. Addressed to William P. Fessenden (1806-69), long-time Maine representative and senator. Very good. Quite minor wear -- overall bold, legible and attractive, penned on a 4pp lined lettersheet. Unusual letter discussing his "professional opinion on the validity of an Act of Congress supposed to have been passed Dec 24th 1861, raising the duties on Tea Coffee and Sugar: which act, however is in truth without any date of the year. the supposed law is inoperative. This opinion was pretty soon followed by protests filed by the importers of these articles: and when I next heard of the matter, the amounts covered by these protests had become so large, and the Government (if my opinion was sound) were losing daily so large an amount of revenue, that I felt it to be my duty to mention the subject to the District Attorney. I have not, however, seen in the proceedings of Congress any steps taken to cure this difficulty, or heard that it has been brought to the notice of the Secretary of the Treasury. My opinion is now in the hands of a printer (for private use) and as soon as I can I will send you a copy of it." We have not been able to pinpoint the title of this pamphlet -- but Curtis was a prolific pamphleteer, and in 1860 had published "A Letter to Senator Fessenden, on the Revision of the Patent Laws" (Boston: Alfred Mudge & Son). Appropriately, Fessenden himself was appointed Secretary of the Treasury a scant two months after this letter was written, on July 5th (an office he filled until March 3, 1865) -- so the tea, coffee and sugar duties issue was indeed "brought to the notice of the Secretary of the Treasury"!. Bookseller Inventory #

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Title: Letter Signed.

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