JAMES WATSON WEBB (1802 – 1884) was born in Claverick, NY, the son of Gen. Samuel B. Webb, who was an aide to Gen. George Washington. He joined the Army at age 17. In 1822, he had many adventures in the western frontiers, crossing the frigid prairies of Illinois in the winter and being trailed by hostile Indians. Webb fought two duels with fellow officers and had many near-fights. He resigned the Army in 1827 in the wake of one of these encounters. H attained the rank of lieutenant.
In 1827, he acquired the New York Morning Courier. In 1842, Webb fought a duel with Congressman Thomas F. Marshall in response to an article he had written. Webb was wounded. Facing prison for illegal dueling, he was pardoned by the governor.
Webb established a daily horse express between New York and Washington in order to scoop other newspapers on events in the capital.
Webb had a number of encounters with Abraham Lincoln, who appointed him Minister to Brazil. On October 24, 1861, President and Mrs. Lincoln attended the funeral of Edward D. Baker at the ome of James W. Webb.
4 pp, 4 1/2 x 7, ALS, West 38th Street, New York, October 14, 1875, to Henry C. Carey, a leading 19th century economist and chief economic adviser to Lincoln.
“I was confined to my house all last winter, and to my bed, four months...I was too ill to labor except to get up my defense against [Hamilton] Fish [26th Secretary of State under Ulysses S. Grant] and the govt. They have not heard the last of that assault.
“...Neither Mrs. Webb nor I can stand our winters...
“I prepared for publication an article on Finances, embodying a letter written to the late David Melliot, a member of Congress for this city...I want the matter for publication in the Times. They refused. My friend demanded its publication, offering to pay for it...They refused on the ground that it conflicts with their opinions. My friend thus [wants] a letter from me emitting the blunt criticism...But all to no purpose. He then went through the same thing with the editors of the Tribune...I want it published in pamphlet form...It will cost only $50 per thousand to control any guilty of them.
“While preparing this matter, I [want] to ask myself this question – how will my friend Carey look upon this work?
“...I have [sent] you today some of my pamphlets; and I ask in return a full expression of your opinions...”
Folds. Excellent condition.
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