Lot 254 of 395:
ALs future U.S. Attorney General, a budding young playwright  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$100 - $150

Autograph Letter Signed, by the future U.S. Attorney General, then a budding young playwright

Brewster, Benjamin Harris



November 4, 1835


Autograph Letter, signed. 3 pp. + integral stampless address leaf. Approximately 9¾x7¾".

To F.[rancis] C. Wemyss, Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: “…your surmise as to the successful representation of my little effort is in some degree correct, judging as I do by the expressed opinions of others and my own expectations… Miss Duff and Mr. Reed not only entered into the spirit of their characters, but followed out their original design and purpose…the piece owed much of its success (if I may so say) to their efforts…however minute criticism here would be tedious to you and perplexing to me…I think I am sustained in my own Judgment by the opinions of others, when I say it was in some degree successful…the scene representing the Interior of the palace of Cortez was truly grotesque and in keeping with the piece.. The Business was poorly done…”. When President Chester Arthur appointed Benjamin H. Brewster Attorney General of the United States in 1881, only his oldest friends might have recognized the Princeton graduate who had once tried his hand at writing for the theater, like the play he describes here to a friendly theater manager  – Montezuma, a melodrama about Cortez’s conquest of Mexico. Whether due to the play’s questionable success or not, Brewster decided, soon after, to follow in his father’s footsteps and make a career of the law, thus beginning his 40-year ascent to Arthur’s presidential cabinet. Brewster letters of this early date are very rare.

Lot Amendments

Yellowed and lightly worn; very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:
We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS.  For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained directly from the lot details page for each item or by contacting Megan Hipsley prior to the auction.



Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.