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Alexander G. Abell Correspondence

An inventory of his correspondence at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: 1989-02-13

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alexander G. Abell Correspondence is a collection of 26 incoming items written between 1843 and 1844 in response to a mail canvass for subscribers to Abell's Life of John Tyler, issued by Harper & Brothers. Published anonymously, the book was written in an effort to neutralize public opinion toward Tyler, who had succeeded to the American Presidency upon the death of incumbent Benjamin Harrison only a month after taking office. Shortly thereafter, Tyler lost the battle for Whig Party leadership to Henry Clay, and became a President without a party. The letters in the collection reflect an interest in restoring Tyler's reputation before the American public, which largely regarded his term in office as a failed presidency. Typical of the responses to Abell's request for subscriptions to his book is the following from D. D. Durboraw of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (9 Dec. 1843):

Believe me Sir, I am please to know, that there lives an individual who can divest himself of the influence and prejudice of the factions, too [sic] undertake a compilation of the public acts of our worthy Chief Magistrate. I hope it may appear in such a form that it will disabuse the public mind in relation to this much injured man.

And a response from Henry Huggins of New Haven, Connecticut, reads (9. Dec. 1843):

The services of Mr. Tyler have been such, that though he may not now have justice down on him, yet I am sure that when his public life is fairly placed before the people, and when passion, prejudice and falsehood shall have done their work & reason & honesty have resumed their sway, a large majority of the people of this country will acknowledge John Tyler of Virginia to be a patriot, statesman, and an honest man.


Access Restrictions:

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Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Abell, Alexander G.
Abell, Alexander G. Life of John Tyler, President of the United States.
Tyler, John, 1790-1862.


Biographers -- United States.
Booksellers and bookselling.
Presidents -- United States -- Biography.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Abell Alexander G Correspondence
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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