POLK, James K. (1795-1849). Autograph letter signed ("James K Polk") as President, to George Bancroft (1800-1891), Washington, 10 December 1847. 1 page, 4to, in excellent condition.
PRESIDENT POLK, MISSISSIPPI'S DEBT AND SENATOR JEFFERSON DAVIS.
The President introduces Thomas Robins to America's foreign minister in London. Senator Jefferson Davis had suggested Robins could help in settling Mississippi's debts with its creditors. Polk writes: "Thomas E. Robins Esqr, the gentleman who will hand you this letter, has been introduced to me by Col. Davis and Genl [Henry S.] Foote, members of the Senate of the United States from the state of Mississippi, and I take pleasure in commanding him to your kind attentions. Mr. Robins visits Great Britain, with a view if possible, to arrange the public debt of that state, with the foreign creditors. I am not informed of the extent of his powers, but these, as well as the objects he desires to accomplish, he will explain to you."
Davis, future President of the Confederacy, entered the Senate shortly after returning from the War in Mexico (where he was wounded at the Battle of Buena Vista). Robins, Davis's nomination for a Mississippi commercial representative, was a Philadelphia businessman who ultimately became president of the Philadelphia National Bank in 1852, a position he retained until 1879. It is unclear what debts might be referred to here, but they probably related to the very active cotton trade between Mississippi planters and Great Britain.