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

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Lot closed - unsold
Estimate:
$100 - $150

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

Author:
Brewster, Benjamin Harris

Place:
Philadelphia

Publisher:

Date:
November 4, 1835

Description:

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

Condition:
Yellowed and lightly worn; very good.


 
Item number:
238361
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