JEREMIAH MASON (1768-1848) served in the U.S. Senate, representing New Hampshire, from 1813 to 1817 and was the President of the Second Bank of the United States from 1825 to 1829 at the branch of Portsmouth, NH.
Sen. Levi Woodbury of New Hampshire complained to Nicholas Biddle that the Second Bank Portsmouth branch discriminated by awarding loans to those who were friends of Andrew Jackson. Biddle had successfully lobbied Congress and President James Monroe to create a new central bank, which became the Second Bank. Woodbury also complained that the bank interfered in the election of Democrats. Biddle investigated Mason’s operations and in his usual arrogance declared that the accusations were entirely groundless. Most historians believe that the clearing of Mason was the initial controversy that triggered Jackson and his supporters to initiate the “Bank War,” a political debate in which Jackson refused to renew the bank’s charter. The bank’s charter expired in 1836 but was re-chartered by Pennsylvania.
Two one-page ALSs by Mason, 7 ¾ x 9 ½ and 8 x 10, both to Mills Olcott, dated September 10, 1813, and April 27, 1827, from Portsmouth.
The first letter: “I have received your letter of the 5th ins and will with pleasure render you any assistance in my power in the business you mention. I am sincerely yours, Jeremiah Mason. Second letter: I have received your letter of the 24th ins. Enclosing thirty dollars, the amount of my fee in your action against J. L. Woods in the Circuit Court of U. States. I am with much esteem, Truly yours, J. Mason”
MILLS OLCOTT was a successful lawyer from Hanover, NH. Mills was secretary and the treasurer of Dartmouth College at different points in his college career.
Integral address leaf to each letter with oval postmark.
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