"When Occasion Serves, And My Head Will Bear It, I Like to Look Into a Book" [Manuscript]. Houston, William Churchill [c. 1746-1788]. [Autograph Letter, Signed, to Robert Morris, Trenton, January 27, 1787]. Single leaf folded to form 9-1/2" x 7" bifolium with integral address leaf, docketed in Morris's hand to verso of second leaf. Light toning and some soiling along creases, small tear and residual adhesive from seal. Typed transcript of the letter included. $750. * A charming letter from William Churchill Houston to Robert Morris. Houston was a teacher, lawyer and early American statesman. After a term of active service in the Revolutionary War, he was elected to the Continental Congress as a New Jersey delegate, where he served with Robert Morris, a delegate for Pennsylvania and one of the founders of the American financial system. They worked together on issues of supply and finance. Houston's letter speaks both of business and of pleasure, possibly referencing overdue accounts of Morris's while asking him to find him some books in octavo and teasing him about the amount of exertion the task will require. In addition to the close working relationship between the two men, the letter illuminates the wide networks of American statesmen in this period. Houston mentions Abraham Clark, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Hugh Gaine, a prominent New York printer; Morris's docket indicates the involvement of Robert R. Livingston, Chancellor of New York and member of the Committee of Five. An interesting piece of early legal Americana.
Book number 72580