• War of 1812, Second Seminole, Mexican-American Officer Writes from Arsenal

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    WILLIAM JENKINS WORTH (March 1, 1794 – May 7, 1849) was a United States officer during the War of 1812, the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant in March 1813 and served as an aide to Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott.  He distinguished himself at the battles of Chippewa and Lundy’s Lane during the Niagara Campaign. He was seriously wounded in the latter battle and not expected to survive.  After a year of recuperation, he emerged with the breveted rank of Major.


    He successfully prosecuted the Second Seminole War in Florida and was made a brevet brigadier general in 1842. He eventually convinced Secretary of War John C. Spencer to allow the remaining Indians in the territory to confine themselves to the region south of Peach Creek and declared an official end to the war in August of that year.


    Worth began serving under Zachary Taylor in Texas when the Mexican-American War began and negotiated the surrender of the Mexican City of Matamoros. He became the first American to make an amphibious landing at Veracruz when he jumped from his boat into shoulder deep water and waded ashore. He took part in the Siege of Veracruz in a number of battles. The Congress awarded him with a sword of honor for his service in the Battle of Chapultepec.


    Offering a one-page, ALS, Dec. 6, 1833, Frankfort Arsenal, to William A. Gordon. The Frankfort Arsenal was a United States ammunition plant located in northeast Philadelphia.  It was opened in 1816 on land purchased by President James Monroe to produce small arms ammunition.


    “Satisfied that you have undertaken the publication referred to in your prospectus…with the best wishes for your success, I have a request [that] you enter on your subscription 1 copy for Lt. Col. Wort Frankfort Arsenal; 1 do – Lt. Dimick; 1 do—Lt. Tompkins. Very truly yours, W.J. Worth”


    The address cover is attached to another sheet.  A very nice engraving of Worth is included.


    Letter is cut close at left margin, affecting several words.  Written during his years of service just before the Second Seminole War. Very nice to have the original address leaf and great to have a letter by an important officer in three wars.


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