Robert J. Walker Letters (Coll. 180)

An Inventory of The Letters at the G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport

Collection register prepared by the Manuscripts Division

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc
Mystic, Connecticut

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869
Title: Robert J. Walker Letters
Dates: 1846-1848
Abstract: Letters to C.W Lawrence, Collector of Customs at the Port of New York, dealing with the interpretation of tariff acts and enforcement of customs regulations, including information concerning import duties, drawbacks, expenses for maintaining revenue vessels and customs property, and the names of many vessels.
Quantity: ca. 255 items
Identification: Coll. 180

Biography of Robert J. Walker

Born July 19, 1801 in Pennsylvania, Walker had a distinguished career as a United States Senator, Secretary of the Treasury (1845-1849), and Governor of the Kansas Territory. In the Senate he was considered an ardent supporter of American expansion and Texas independence. As Secretary of the Treasury, appointed by President Polk, he worked for a more independent treasury system, and the tariff bill of 1846 was largely a product of his "tariff for revenue only" philosophy. A major development of Walker's term was the establishment of a warehousing system for the various customs districts to handle imports.

Scope and Content

The letters in this collection were all signed by Walker as Treasury Secretary, between 1846 and 1848, and were addressed to Mr. C.W. Lawrence, who was the Collector of Customs at the Port of New York during this period. They deal primarily with interpretation of tariff acts and enforcement of customs regulations as applied to specific cases at the port. Included are details about payments of import duties and drawbacks, and information regarding expenses for maintaining of a warehouse on the "Atlantic dock" that was used by the customs district, and an account of an appraiser being fired for "irregularities in performance of his duties." Walker also authorized several payments for work done on a new revenue brig that was under construction in 1848. Numerous references are found to the tariff acts of 1842 and 1846. There are description of articles being imported into New York, and the names of many revenue schooners and steamers are also mentioned.

Index Terms

Lawrence, C.W.--Correspondence
Corporate Entities:
United States. Dept. of the Treasury
New York (N.Y.)
Customs administration--New York (State)--New York
Customs administration--Officials and employees
Customs administration--United States
Tariff--United States
Document Types:
Public officers

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Correspondence; 1846-1848
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence; 1846 Oct
2 Correspondence; 1846 Nov
3 Correspondence; 1846 Dec
4 Correspondence; 1847 Oct
5 Correspondence; 1847 Nov
6 Correspondence; 1847 Dec
7 Correspondence; 1848 Jun
8 Correspondence; 1848 Jul
9 Correspondence; 1848 Aug