NICHOLAS BIDDLE (1786-1844) was a child prodigy, entering the University of Pennsylvania in 1796 at the age of 10. He was not allowed to receive his degree when he was 13 because of his age. He went on to study at Princeton, where he graduated in 1801 as valedictorian. Biddle prepared Lewis and Clark’s report of their extraordinary expedition to the mouth of the Columbia River and he encouraged President Thomas Jefferson to write an introductory memoir of Captain Meriwether Lewis.
Biddle’s name doesn’t appear on the work as he was elected to the state legislature and was compelled to turn over the project to Paul Allen, who supervised the project and was recognized as the editor. In 1819, President Monroe appointed him one of the government directors of the Bank of the United States. He became its president in 1823, and his administration illustrated his belief in the necessity of a central banking institution to stabilize the currency and curb the inflationary tendencies of the era. Biddle became the leading target of the Jacksonians in their war against the bank. The bank failed to be re-chartered in 1836.
Offering a short ALS, 8 ½ X 10 ¼, Philadelphia, June 6 1838, to John Meredith of Baltimore, MD. “I was very glad to receive this evening your favor of yesterday, the tone of which coincided exactly with the view entertained here by our best thinkers. With great regard, N. Biddle”
Also, a 4 x 9 ¼ DS, a pay order, or check, drawn on the Third Bank of the United States, December 7, 1837, order the payment of one hundred pounds sterling to be paid to Longstreth, Boldin & Moore.
Pay document has even toning, light soiling, but is very readable. Letter has folds but in excellent condition.
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