Item #51-4107 Autograph letter from Aaron Burr to Martha Bradstreet. Aaron Burr.
Autograph letter from Aaron Burr to Martha Bradstreet.

Autograph letter from Aaron Burr to Martha Bradstreet.

1819. ALS. Signed, dated and Martha Bradstreet in Williamstown. 40 x 25 cm. folded in half Triangular loss in blank area. On rag paper watermarked "D. Ames."...

Autograph Letter Signed ("A. Burr") to Martha Bradstreet, 1 p, Sunday, August 8, 1819, addressed by Burr on integral leaf.

Burr writes, "My dear friend, the fates are not propitious. I am grievously disappointed & mortified. We shall not meet on this occasion. The details will be given in person &, I think, at Williamstown some two or three weeks hence. No letter has been rcd from you since that the benefit of which was acknowledged in person by your last stage. Pray address me here at N York by the mail, advising me of the progress of the case & how you get rid of your time. If you should want anything from town, command me. I am under an engagement to be here again in the course of the current month."....Burr was a Revolutionary War soldier, U.S. Senator, and third Vice President serving during Thomas Jefferson's first term (1801-1805). Burr's term as vice president was marked by his duel with Alexander Hamilton. Their animosity began two decades earlier when they were both practicing law in New York City. Burr became incensed in 1804 when leaders of the Republican party replaced him as candidate for Vice President. In this context Hamilton circulated letters that contained disparaging comments about Burr. "Following the election, Burr became increasingly angry at those he held responsible for his political downfall.... In June the vice president issued a challenge to Hamilton, after Hamilton refused to make a comprehensive disclaimer of his derogatory comments of Burr uttered during the gubernatorial campaign. Hamilton accepted Burr's challenge, and the two met in Weehawken, New Jersey, on 11 July 1804. As a result, Hamilton suffered a fatal wound as a ball lodged in his spine." ANB 4:34-36.....Burr was a lawyer practicing in New York City when he assisted his friend and client Martha Bradstreet address various legal issues over the course of a decade, beginning in 1818. Martha Bradstreet (1780-1871) was the granddaughter of General John Bradstreet, who played a major role in the French and Indian War. See M. A. Blaakman, "Martha Bradstreet and the 'Epithet of Woman': A Story of Land, Libel, Litigation, and Legitimating 'Unwomanly' Behavior in the Early Republic." Early American Studies, volume 13, 2015, pp 544-585.....Martha Bradstreet (1780-1871) was the step-granddaughter of Major General John Bradstreet (1714-1774). She pursued legal claims to land inherited from him and other relatives in the Mohawk River Valley in New York State.

From the description of Martha Bradstreet papers, circa 1750-1877 (bulk 1800-1840). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702198628
Martha Bradstreet was born on the island of Antigua in the West Indies. Her father, Samuel Bradstreet (died 1784), named her after his sister, Martha Bradstreet (died 1782). She married Matthew Codd from Ireland in 1799 and divorced him in 1816. Their marriage produced five children, Elizabeth Catherine (later Bennett), Sarah Mary Anne (later Sterling), Eleanor Cloney, John Bradstreet, and Edward Livius (born circa 1809). Through acts in the New York State Assembly, she regained her birth name in 1817 and applied the surname of Bradstreet to her children in March 1818.

Martha Bradstreet inherited land in the Mohawk River Valley of New York through the estates of her father, her namesake, and aunts, Agatha Bradstreet Evans (died 1794) and Elizabeth Bradstreet Livius (died 1795). Most of the land originally accrued through the estates of her step-grandfather, Major General John Bradstreet (1714-1774) and her grandmother, Mary Aldridge Bradstreet (died 1782). However, poorly drafted deeds of sales created uncertain titles to a portion of the land. The terms of the estate of Elizabeth Bradstreet Livius further complicated Martha Bradstreet's land claims because she had married without the approval of the estate's executor. Bradstreet subsequently discovered that much of the land she inherited from her aunt Martha was sold by the estate's executor, Charles Gould (1726-1806) through his son and attorney, Edward Goold (Gould). During the early nineteenth century she pursued litigation to cancel the land sales and gain title to the properties designated for her in the bequests. In 1831, the United States Supreme Court denied her claim to portions land in Cosby's Manor, a tract of land in and around Utica, New York, in James Jackson, Ex Dem. of Martha Bradstreet, v. Henry Huntington, 30 U.S. 5 Pet. 402 (1831).

Bradstreet continued to pursue her land claims in communities throughout the Mohawk River Valley until her death in Bennettsville, New York.

Provenance: The estate of Martha Bradstreet (1780-1871). W. Bruce Fye. Item #51-4107

Price: $1,750.00

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