• Battle Of Liberty Place, New Orleans, Attempts To Overthrow Reconstruction Government, Causes Threat To Railroad Funding

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    Offering a 2 pp, letter signed, 5 ½ x 8 ½, London, Sept. 26, 1874, in which WILLIAM H. PRATT discusses the Mobile & Alabama Grand Trunk Railroad, race riots in New Orleans [Battle of Liberty Place on September 14, 1874]. Pratt makes an argument to Francis B. Clark in New York for securing financing from London investors due to the shaky political nature in Southern states.

    “...There is a reasonable probability of effecting some arrangement by which the grand trunk can be extended to the Selma Junction at Uniontown. [Mr. Harcourt] is to furnish me the DFT of an agreement on Monday (28th)...The credit of the Southern Gulf states is greatly shaken by their unsettled political condition. The [news]papers from America [are] teeming with accounts of riots between the whites & negroes & the outbreak at New Orleans [Battle of Liberty] was particularly damaging to Southern credit. You had better at once direct the printing and preparation of one and quarter million of the bonds as nothing can be definitely settled with Harcourt and by him until the bonds are ready for delivery in London...”

    The Battle of Liberty Place was an attempted insurrection and coup d’etat by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction Era Louisiana Republican state government on September 14, 1874 in New Orleans, which was the capital of Louisiana at the time. Five thousand members of the White League, a paramilitary terrorist organization made up of Confederate veterans, fought against the outnumbered New Orleans Metropolitan Police and state militia. The insurgents held the statehouse, armory and downtown for three days, retreating before arrival of federal troops that restored the elected government. At least 32 people, including 21 Neo-Confederate insurgents were killed. This was the last major event of violence stemming from the disputed 1872 gubernatorial election.

    WILLIAM H. PRATT (1811 – 1883) was a merchant and banker, director and president of the Bank of Mobile, director and member of the Reorganization Committee of the Mobile & Alabama Grand Trunk Railroad and director of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad Company.

    FRANCIS BARNARD CLARK (1820-1910) was born in New York, but spent the vast majority of his life in Alabama, in the import and export and the development of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad and other roads. After the Civil War, he was the developer and president of the Mobile & Alabama Grand Trunk Railroad.

    Letter comes with a spectacular cover and is written on beautiful letterhead with woodcut portraits of Samuel F.B. Morse.

    Expected toning. Overall in excellent condition.  A great piece of Southern post war history reflecting remnants of the Civil War that remained long after the war.

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