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Series III. Henry Marie Brackenridge Speeches and Essays, 1818-1864

Scope and Content Notes:

The secries of the collection contains a sample of H.M. Brackenridge's essays and speeches. H.M. Brackenridge was a prolific writer whose articles were printed in a number of different publications. The articles are a mix of book reviews, biographies, political essays, and travel accounts, which reflects H.M. Brackenridge's varied interests. Editorial notes are included in the margins, suggesting that H.M. Brackenridge continued to rework his writings after their publication. Many of the speeches were given in various towns in western Pennsylvania on the occasion of the 4th of July. The dated works in this collection cover a period of four decades, from 1818 to 1864, though some of the material is undated. The collection also contains some political essays and speeches commenting on his career and disagreeing with contemporary political movements. [Please note that folders 1-9 contain the various essays written by H.M. Brackenridge, and folders 10-17 contain his speeches.]

The order of these documents from the letter book has been noted through the inclusion of a letter book number (e.g. LB#01). See custodial history for more information.


Box 4
Folder 1 Review of "Life of General Harrison", 1839

This folder contains some of H. M. Brackenridge's published works, along with comments written in the margins. Topics include the life of William Henry Harrison, the history of the Federalist party, and the political career of Martin Van Buren.

Folder 2 "Uncle Tom's Cabin", 1852

Contains both a handwritten draft and a published version (in the form of a newspaper clipping) of H. M. Brackenridge's essay about the Harriet Beecher Stowe abolitionist novel.

Folder 3 "A Remarkable Journey from Philadelphia in Twelve Days in 1832", undated

This travel account seems to have been intended as an appendix to one of the public letters addressed to Andrew Jackson after H. M. Brackenridge's dismissal as judge in Florida. It recounts a rushed trip H. M. Brackenridge embarked upon in order to attend a court date.

Folder 4 "Examination into the Boundaries of Louisiana", undated

This essay provides both a detailed history of European settlement in Louisiana, as well as a geographical description of the area. 25 p.

Folder 5 Newspaper Essay Clippings, undated

This is one of the editorials H. M. Brackenridge wrote concerning Andrew Jackson. H. M. Brackenridge's handwritten comments are also included.

Folder 6 Review of Craig's History, undated

Newspaper clippings of several reviews H. M. Brackenridge wrote of Nelville Craig's book about the history of Pittsburgh.

Folder 7 Review of "Florida Affairs", undated

Newspaper clippings of several editorials written by H. M. Brackenridge.

Folder 8 Review of "Scenes of Childhood", undated

Contained within is a newspaper article detailing H. M. Brackenridge's childhood years.

Folder 9 "The Independence of the Judiciary", undated

A lengthy draft, with editorial comments by H. M. Brackenridge written in the margins. Includes criticisms of the Jackson administration. 38 p.

Folder 10 Speech on the Jew Bill, 1818

This is a copy of a speech given by H. M. Brackenridge to the Maryland House of Delegates. Also included is a copy of an exchange between H. M. Brackenridge and John Young on the topic. 7 p.

Folder 11 Fourth of July Oration-- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1835

H. M. Brackenridge's speech focuses on the shortcomings of Andrew Jackson. Also included are his thoughts on the history of the Democratic and Federalist parties. 17 p.

Folder 12 Fourth of July Oration-- Freeport, Pennsylvania, 1838

Handwritten copy of a speech given by H. M. Brackenridge. In the speech, H. M. Brackenridge recounted the founding of the United States and voiced criticisms of the current state of politics. 20 p.

Folder 13 "Stump Speech", September 1840

Copy of a speech, with H. M. Brackenridge's corrections. The speech details economic problems and the rise of central banking in the United States. 14 p.

Folder 14 Speech on the Treasury Note Bill, February 3, 1841

Printed copy of a speech given to the House of Representatives, explaining H. M. Brackenridge's dissatisfaction with the Treasury Note Bill. Though the country had serious financial troubles, H. M. Brackenridge thought the problems could be solved without the use of Treasury notes. 16 p.

Folder 15 Fourth of July Oration-- Tarentum, Pennsylvania, 1844

In this speech, H. M. Brackenridge reflected upon the principles on which the United States was founded. He also described the history of the United States and Great Britain. 8 p.

Folder 16 "Argument before the Supreme Court", October 8, 1849

Published account of H. M. Brackenridge's speech. The case revolved around the question of whether or not vacant land could be employed for public use. 22 p.

Folder 17 "Protest of Henry Marie Brackenridge against the Bounty Tax", 1864

An essay on a tax concerning residents of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. 1 p.