9 3/4" x 7 3/4".  pp, on two loose leaves of unlined paper, completely in ink manuscript. Small corner chip to first leaf [one letter barely touched upon]. Thin strip of mounting tape in margin of final page just touching signature. The paper is quite thin, resulting in some show-through to the reverse side of each page. Else Very Good. Docketed in left margin of first page, "Wm. Duane, Phila, 4 March 1811."
William Duane (1780-1865), Philadelphia newspaperman, was the prominent editor of 'The Aurora', the most influential of the Jeffersonian periodicals. Written on the eve of the War of 1812, Duane's letter analyzes the chaos his sources had described within James Madison's White House. He begins by expressing his sorrow for an unexplained loss that his recipient has endured. Duane then discusses his relief that the 1791 Charter of the Bank of the United States has expired; Duane had, according to this letter, experienced some difficulties with the Bank regarding his own finances. Ironically, Duane would serve briefly as Andrew Jackson's Treasury Secretary in 1833. Jackson fired him when Duane refused to obey Jackson's order to remove the federal deposits from the second Bank of the United States.
Albert Gallatin, discussed in this letter, was the longest-serving Secretary of the Treasury: President Jefferson appointed him, and he served an uninterrupted tenure through both administrations of James Madison. The Smiths to whom the letter refers were Secretary of State Robert Smith and his brother Senator Samuel Smith. Item #35298