Autograph signed letter from B. B. French, the Commissioner of Public Buildings, to Henry A. Smythe on his appointment as Collector of the Port of New York [where he later gave Herman Melville a job]. B. B. French, Benjamin Brown.

Autograph signed letter from B. B. French, the Commissioner of Public Buildings, to Henry A. Smythe on his appointment as Collector of the Port of New York [where he later gave Herman Melville a job]

1866. 1 leaf 25 x 20 cm. handwritten on both sides. Lined paper with the letterhead of the Office of the Commissioner of Public Buildings, Capitol of the United States. Dated May 23, 1866, Washington City. In 1853 B. B. French (1800-1870) was named Commissioner of Public Buildings, a position he held until 1867 when Congress replaced the office with that of Architect of the Capitol. As Commissioner of Public Buildings, French was responsible for all the federal buildings in Washington, D.C., including the construction of the capitol dome. Henry A. Smythe (1817-1884) served as Collector of the Port of New York from 1866 to 1869. While Collector, Smythe arranged for his friend novelist Herman Melville to get a job as an inspector of customs. In this letter, French congratulates Smythe on his nomination and unanimous confirmation by the Senate. He also asks that his brother-in-law, Samuel L. Chase, who worked at the custom house, might be promoted so that he could "live more in accordance with his social station in life." In Good+ Condition: minor loss at corners; dampstain at one lower corner; starting to separate at folds; lightly soiled; no loss of text. Good +. Item #006813

Price: $125.00