Distinguished statesman, US senator, secretary of state, speaker of the house, and three-time presidential candidate (1777–1852) who became known as the ‘Great Compromiser’ for his support of the Union prior to the Civil War.
Historically important two-page autograph letter signed “H. Clay” as Speaker of the House, March 28, 1818, Washington, 8×10, to Secretary of the Treasury William Crawford, in full:
Allow me to present to you Mr. Torres Esq the bearer thereof, whose acquaintance I have had the pleasure to have for a year or two past. He has been particularly recommended to me, and besides carries with him, as you will soon perceive, the best testimonies, in his intelligence & polished manner, to entitle him to favorable consideration.
Mr. Torres supposes that he has made a discovery of an error in the fiscal operations of our country by which it is annually subjected to great loss. He has thought of presenting to Congress a petition to invite the appointment of a Committee to receive & judge of this discovery. Without seeking or desiring to know what the nature of it is I have advised him to communicate with you & have ventured to assure him that you will give him a reception in accord with your known candor & liberty.
With original address leaf in Clay’s hand to “The Honble Wm. H. Crawford / Secy of the Treasury“.
Very bold writing, paper with some folds and creases, soiling.
Manuel de Trujillo y Torres (November 1762 – July 15, 1822) was a Spanish American publicist and diplomat. He is best known for being received as the first ambassador of Colombia by U.S. President James Monroe on June 19, 1822. This act represented the first U.S. recognition of a former Spanish colony’s independence.
A man of many talents, Torres returned to economics in April 1818. Through Henry Clay, Torres suggested to Congress that he had discovered a new way to make revenue collection and spending more efficient, which he would reveal in detail if he was promised a share of the government’s savings. The preliminary proposal was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, which declined to examine it for being too complex. It was through this very letter from Clay to Crawford in which Torres tried to impact the economics of the young nation.