Minnesota Politician & U.S. Tax Commissioner, Delano T. Smith, Archive Featuring 1863 Diary Referencing Interactions with Lincoln, Plus Related Correspondence
Lot of approx. 55 items related to Delano T. Smith (1830-1905), Civil War-era US Tax Commissioner (1863-1865). 2 Journals and collection of over 50 different papers. 1863-1904.
Born in Litchfield, NY, and educated at the Clinton Liberal Institute, Smith studied law and was admitted to the bar in Albany in 1852. He then traveled west to Dixon, IL, where he briefly practiced law. Within three years, Smith moved to Minnesota and became a prominent political figure in the Republican party, representing the state in both the house and senate. He specialized in financial matters, and as a result was highly recommended to serve as auditor for the US Treasury Department under Salmon Chase during Lincoln's first administration. Offered in the lot is a period copy of the letter of recommendation to Lincoln from the Republican Delegation in Congress dated January 15, 1861:
[We] must respectfully command to your consideration our worthy friend and fellow citizen the Hon. Delano T. Smith of Minneapolis an applicant for an auditorship in the Treasury Department, writes the Minnesota delegation. Mr. Smith is a lawyer by profession and one of the most prominent and active Republicans in our State...he is accurate, efficient and honest.
Also offered in the lot is an ALS from Smith to Salmon P. Chase. Smith writes on March 21, 1863:
I lay before you in writing the honor to converse with you on Wednesday last. You then reassured me of your friendship and continued interest in my welfare. This was the more gratifying to me, as nine months had passed since you sent for and stated to me your intentions in appointing me action auditor at the end of the fiscal year...I doubt not for a moment your good faith and intentions; but for some cause my appointment has been delayed, and possibly now may be inadmissible altogether.
While waiting for his appointment, Smith conducted business in Washington and met with the president. On March 27, 1863 he jotted down in his journal, Mellanie and I were at the Presidents to witness his interview with the wild Indians...Weeks passed and there was still no word on the appointment. On April 10th and 11th, Smith wrote, Drafted an abstract of recommendations for the auditorship and letter to Gov. Ramsey to sign to President- called at War Dept. for Judge Jones... Got a very early start to Gov. Ramsey about auditorship- Had a pleasant and rather satisfactory interview with him. After all the waiting and worrying Smith lost out on the position of auditor. On June 27 he wrote:
Called at Sec. Chase and had an interview with humiliation to the position of auditor for which I have looked so long- Got only the satisfaction of knowing that I must at last fail! Was glad even to know this and I was put-out-of-suspense- Time energy and drafts upon friends badly expended- Two years of anxiety, thought, and careful planning all to no purpose!
His disappointment was short lived. Several months later he was appointed to the office of US Direct Tax Commissioner of the state of Tennessee, which involved collecting taxes from the rebel states. He moved with his wife South to conduct business, from October until January. In his 1863 journal he briefly summarizes his business of the day and all the letters and correspondence he has with influential CS politicians and military personnel such as Andrew Johnson. Smith held this position for two years, but resigned in 1865 and moved to New York to work in real estate. He worked with his brother to promote the first subway in New York City, known as the Arcade Railway. However, in 1869, he decided to move west to Marshalltown, IA, where he again worked in real estate and engaged in farming and stock raising at his farm known as Highland Home. Smith remained in Marshalltown until his death on May 10, 1905.
The lot is accompanied by Smith's 1869 diary; Smith's 1858 attorney license from the Minnesota Supreme Court; his 1865 appointment to supervise the interest of Minnesota soldiers signed by Gov. Stephen Miller and an 1865 ALS from him on Executive Department stationary; a broadside announcing a speaking engagement concerning topics connected with the  formation of a State government for Minnesota; a 1903 cream prohibition convention ribbon; a gem sized tintype of a young girl dressed in a large bonnet and overcoat; an illustrated pamphlet from the New York Arcade Railway Company, A Correct Statement of the Laws and Plans (1877); a blue ferrotype ribbon for presidential candidate Jas. G. Blaine; 2 guests tickets for the 1892 Republican national Convention; Smith's certificate of life membership to the Iowa State Temperance Alliance; a comical parody of The Raven titled The Sea Gull authored by W.A. Croffit; a form letter from the P.C. Barnum & Co. announcing the repletion of its Ready-Made Clothing line and a broadside for a boot and shoe sale at their store on Chatham street; an ANS pass from the governor of Washington, D.C., J.H. Martindale, permitting Smith to travel to NY; a ledger noting the amounts of cash deposited in the US Treasury from 1863-1867; a collection of 16 different cards from attorneys, businesses, and political organizations; Smith's certificate of admission to the District Court of IA; and his legal license to practice in the State of NY with its original seal and ribbon.
The copy of the Lincoln letter is in poor condition but the other papers and journals are in fine condition.