JUDGE ALEXANDER PORTER, JR. FAMILY OF OAKLAWN MANOR, ST. MARY PARISH, FRANKLIN, LOUISIANA. ARCHIVE OF MANUSCRIPT LETTERS CIRCA 1819-1864, INCLUDING TEN LETTERS WRITTEN BY HENRY CLAY AND THREE BY DANIEL WEBSTER, WITH DISCUSSIONS OF WHIG PARTY POLITICS.Est. $20,000-$30,000
Sold: $12,000 ($10,000)
Alexander Porter, Jr. (1785-1844) and his brother James (1793-1849) left Ireland in 1801 and settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where Alexander studied law and was admitted to the Bar. General Andrew Jackson, a family friend, advised the Porters to move farther south to the territories of Louisiana and Mississippi to seek their fortune. Following his advice, Alexander started a law practice in Attakapas Parish, Louisiana in 1809 and by 1812, began purchasing land along the Bayou Teche, in what is now St. Mary Parish. Eventually he would own thousands of acres, putting them into the production of sugar, a major local crop, and building Oaklawn Manor, the family’s home. In addition to his position as the owner of a large sugar plantation, Porter was elected a delegate to the convention that framed the first Louisiana State Constitution, after which he became a representative in the lower branch of the State legislature. From 1821-1833 he served as a judge on the Louisiana State Supreme Court before being sent to Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 1833-1837. During his career, Porter helped establish the Whig Party in Louisiana and in the process became a close personal friend of Henry Clay’s, the Whig Senator from Kentucky, known as the “Great Compromiser.”The family papers include letters, one from Alexander to his wife, Evilina, Sept.1819; several from his daughter, Anne and son-in-law, William Ashe Alston; many letters between Alexander and James regarding business and plantation matters, the death of his wife and daughters, the threat of yellow fever, family in Ireland, various acquaintances, and travel; letters to James and his wife, Mary Walton Porter, who inherited Oaklawn in 1849 and was a Union sympathizer during the Civil War; in addition to baptismal records (in French), an 1847 silver inventory of Oaklawn, song verses, and a recipe for Blackberry Cordial. The ten letters written by Clay to Alexander Porter dated 1835-1847, discuss Whig politics and party members, Presidential candidates, personal acquaintances, and horses. The three letters dated 1831-1842 written by Webster, Senator from Massachusetts, ask for help in collecting legal fees and discuss professional acquaintances. Approximately 70 pcs.