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Walworth, Reuben H.
Autograph Letter Signed, Plattsburgh, New York, May 24 1818, to Governor Dewitt Clinton, Albany

folio, 3 pages plus stamp-less address leaf, in very good, clean and legible condition.

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Walworth writes in part:


“… on the subject of the appointment of Judges for Clinton County. Knowing it is your wish that in all cases such persons should be recommended and appointed as are properly qualified to execute the duties to which they may be assigned. One of the greatest evils experienced in our Courts of Common Pleas is the appointment of Persons for Judges who from their circumscribed knowledge and want of energy and decision of Character and souls & minds of both suffer themselves to be imposed and crowded upon by members of the bar by which means the authority and dignity of Courts are lessened in Public estimation and the legitimate cause of Justice is frequently defeated. To obviate if possible this evil which this County has particularly felt, the Republican county Committee in March last recommended unanimously to the Council of Appointment Levi Platt for the office of Judge and although the late law has restricted the numbers of Judges to five, the reasons which occasioned the nominations of Judge still continue and if possible operate with greater force. Since Mr. Palmer who frequently assisted on the Bench in causes in which he was not concerned under the new Law declining the office I therefore do earnestly solicit the attentions of your Excellency to the subject and that Judge Platt may, if the Hon. Council think it proper to receive the appointment which he has once before had to the office of Judge and which he then filled to the entire satisfaction of every member of the bar as well as the People at Large…”




Edwards, James, Autograph Letter Signed Albany, New York, April 12, 1828 to R. H. Walworth, marked “Confidential”, one page

This letter to Walworth is about “rumors that designated you for the office of Chancellor in the place of Chase Jones” and hoping to be appointed Court Reporter. Walworth did become the fifth (and last) Chancellor of New York – the highest judicial officer of the state – until the position was abolished in 1847 after the New York State Constitutional Convention.


New York State Library. Printed and handwritten Document Signed, Albany, March 7, 1857, to R. Hyde Walworth, which thanks him for his donation of an imprint on a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court had appointed him Special Master – Commissioner to hear competing state testimony from Pennsylvania and Virginia, which had built a bridge over the Ohio River that interfered with navigation. The case stretched over 8 years until it was finally decided by the Court after receiving Walworth’s report.


The 1818 letter was written by Walworth, then a 30 year-old upstate New York attorney, in the newly incorporated city of Plattsburgh, mostly owned by Judge Platt’s family, who, 26 years later, would almost – become a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, nominated three times for that position by President Tyler, and three times rejected by an obdurate Congress. In the intervening years, Walworth would himself serve in Congress and as New York Chancellor, and after his judicial disappointment, would be defeated as “Hunkers” Democratic candidate for New York Governor. He must have had an interesting domestic life: one of his sons converted to Catholicism and became a Priest and the other was murdered by his own son.