Jordan, John, Jr.
Autograph Letter Signed, Philadelphia, July 9, 1842 to Selden T. Scranton, Bedford Furnace, New Jersey

quarto, three pages, plus stamp-less address leaf, formerly folded, top edge slightly ruffled, else in very good, clean and legible condition.

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       “… Capt. Tyler is a fool. I have no doubt that he will veto any tariff bill the Whigs will pass. He’s an imbecile tool of the Locofocos, into whose arms he has been preparing to throw himself for a year past. All things lead to show that the Movement of 1844 in favor of Henry Clay will result in the same manner as that of ’40 for Tip [i.e. the late William Henry Harrison]. It seems indeed that we can only get a permanent tariff from bitter experience. The South in two years will cry out as lustily for it (except South Carolina) as ever we of the Middle and North …”


       The writer was the President of the Bank of the United States at Philadelphia, his antagonism for the Locofoco Democrats understandable, given their opposition to business monopoly and state banks. His reference to President John Tyler as “Captain” was an intended insult; during the War of 1812, Tyler organized a Militia Company to defend Richmond, Virginia against the British, commanding his regiment with that humble rank. He never saw combat and dissolved the company after two months, nevertheless receiving a land grant in the Midwest for his military service.


Jordan’s correspondent, Mr. Scranton, later started an ironworks in Pennsylvania – in a town named for his family. This later became the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company, headed by his cousin, industrialist William Walker Scranton, whose grandson William Warren Scranton, would serve as Governor of Pennsylvania and US Ambassador to the United Nations after an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination.