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Lot 309: 1862 Civil War WAR CLAIMS Against U.S., Printed Advertising Letter
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Civil War Broadsides
"...Prosecution and Collection of WAR CLAIMS of every kind against the United States Government" Advertising
September 24, 1862-Dated Civil War Period, WAR CLAIMS, Printed Advertising Letter, Signed in type "TAYLOR WEBSTER," Fine.
An interesting Civil War Period Advertising letter from a 62 year old former U.S. Congressman, now promoting his business of handling soldier's claims against the U.S. Government. It has very good content, (printed on front & back) 4 page Lettersheet, measuring 7.75" x 9.75" with a printed letter on the front page datelined, "ST. LOUIS, September 24, 1862", and Signed in Type, TAYLOR WEBSTER (1800-76, an early settler in Ohio, moving there in 1806; Served in U.S. Congress, as a Jackson Democrat from Ohio, 1833-39). It reads, in part:
"I have opened an office in this city for the prosecution and collection of WAR CLAIMS of every kind against the United States Government. These claims are already very numerous; as the war progresses they will rapidly increase, and in the end will be very large. A large class of claims for Quartermaster's supplies will be settled and paid at St. Louis, and the claims for back pay, clothing and transportation of discharged soldiers will be settled and paid here. Every soldier who is permanently disabled by wounds or disease, is entitled to back pay, clothing, transportation, bounty and pension; and every soldier who is slain in battle or dies of wounds or disease in the hospital, leaves representatives entitled to his back-pay, clothing and bounty.
But few of these parties can prosecute their claims themselves, and even Attorneys and Agents in different parts of the country must do their business through some agent here or at Washington City... Having heretofore spent six years in Washington City on public business, and become familiar with the routine of business there, as well as here, I claim to have a good knowledge of what I undertake... As I intend to prosecute none but fair and honest claims, I reserve the right to relinquish the further prosecution of any claim whenever I become satisfied that it is fraudulent, or of so much as is improper or is tainted with fraud... The amount of soldier's claims will not be large, and my fees will be moderate according to the claim..."
At bottom he lists several references, including a few St. Louis business firms, an Army Paymaster, Ex-Governor of Iowa, R.P. Lowe, and Lincoln's Secretary of the Interior, Caleb B. Smith! There are 3 minor indentations along left edge from previously being binder housed. Upon the back page is a printed letter from R.G. Dunn & Co., Mercantile Agency, datelined at St. Louis, Oct. 24, 1862, recommending Taylor Webster for his war claims business. Apparently, Webster's War Claims business didn't take off, as according to the Biographical Directory of the American Congress, he moved to New Orleans in 1863, and was employed in a clerical position, and died there in 1876.