Washington DC: March 14, 1844. 8" x 10", light blue lined paper, 4 pp., folded, neat ink manuscript on first page followed by three blank pages, docketed on rear page. Titled "Ho: of Reps:" at masthead.
Hamilton Fish (1808 - 1893) was a native New Yorker who graduated from Columbia, became a lawyer and entered politics as a Whig. He was elected to congress in 1842 and wrote this letter during his term. President John Tyler, elected Vice President on the Whig ticket head by President William Henry Harrison in 1840, became the first accidental President after Harrison's death in 1841. Tyler and his erstwhile Whig colleagues became bitter opponents when the new President thwarted the Whig legislative program. Clearly Fish was correct in concluding he could be of no help to his constituent Shankland, whatever the nature of Shankland's request.
Thomas Shankland was also a New York lawyer. The 1845 New York State Register lists him as a "Commissioner to take Acknowledgments and Depositions for the different States and Territories, residing in the city of New York". Shankland was nominated by President Lincoln as Consul at Port Louis, France, in December, 1861. Very good. Item #2713
"I have the satisfaction to acknowledge the receipt of your esteemed favor of 9th inst. the relations subsisting between the executive & the political party with which I am connected, is such as to prevent my recommendations to him carrying any weight - in truth, I do not feel justified in endeavoring to approach him upon the matter which you request in your letter . You will perceive the peculiarity of my position in this respect & will I am sure appreciate the motives which compel me, in all such cases to abstain from the attempt to exercise an influence which I am assured would be entirely unsuccessful even if it were not to prove injurious to the applications in whose behalf it might be exerted. / With the highest respect I have the honor - Your Obed. Serv / Hamilton Fish. / Thos. Shankland Es. / 20 Wall St.