• Renowned NY Author Founded Civil War Defense, Wrote Martin Van Buren

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    PROSPER MONTGOMERY WETMORE (February 14, 1798 – March 16, 1876) was an author, legislator and general in the New York State militia, instrumental in organizing the 7th regiment of the National Guards in 1825.  He was forced to resign because of bad business dealings, which were disastrous to his reputation.  He was appointed paymaster general and served in the New York legislature as one of the Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1834 and 1835. 


    He was one of the founders of the American Art Union and served as its president for three years.  As Secretary of the New York Chamber of Commerce, he was credited with discovering the portraits of Alexander Hamilton and Cadwallader Colden, which were thought to have been lost in New York’s Great Fire in 1835.  In 1861, he became a founding member of the Union Defense Committee of New York City, serving as appointed secretary to the Executive Committee during the Civil War. He also served as the Connecticut representative to the New England Soldiers’ Relief Association.


    Offering a one page, 8 x 8 ¾, ALS, New York, November 30, 1839, Wetmore writing to President Martin Van Buren, encouraging Van Buren to appoint William H. Wilson as purser in the U.S. Navy signed with Wetmore’s beautiful signature.  In part, “…Mr. Wilson bears an excellent character, is well connected and would I am persuaded do credit to the Naval Service.


    “Should the appointment in question be conferred on Mr. Wilson, it would gratify large numbers of the President’s friends in this city.


    “I remain


    “With the highest respect


    “Prosper M. Wetmore”


    Light toning, folds, tipped to another sheet.


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