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B[enjamin] F[ranklin] Butler to W[illia]m H[oward] Allen, 22 June 1822

My dear Brother,

Your arrival at New York has given us the greatest pleasure. Especially as it finds you in a situation, so long and so eagerly desired by yourself & friends, for I take it for granted, from the report of your arrival as published in the papers, that you have been assigned to the Command of the Alligator; in accordance with your wishes. Write us immediately on this subject, and let us know your destination &c. Harriet & the children are well. Our dear little girls have improved considerably since you left us. Mag talks a great deal of her uncle William and I doubt not would be overjoyed to see you. We hear two or three times a week from Hudson, and the accounts of our dear Mothers health, are generally encouraging, but I presume Lydia keeps you constantly advised on that head. We are very anxious that Lydia should come up to Albany & spend some weeks with us, but her duties at Hudson outweigh every other consideration. We are at length settled in our new habitation, & except that our family is too small to fill up the space assigned us, are pleasantly situated. A week or two since I became acquainted (officially in the first instance) with a Mr Weems of the Navy, late an officer of the Macedonian. He was unfortunately robbed at Rockwells of between 3 & 400 $, which first occasioned my introduction to him. We detected & convicted the thief, who was tried last week, and recovered a part of the money, the whole of which will ultimately be obtained. On account of my regard for the service &c, I took great pleasure in rendering to Mr. W. as much attention as my engagements in Court, would permit, and should like to hear from you in relation to his character merits &c &c &c. He says he is acquainted with you. How long will you remain at New York? And can you not take a trip to Albany & Hudson? These are questions of great moment & to which we want immediate replies. I presume you have seen that Jacob Barker has been making a great parpade about his challenge. This afternoon I received a pamphlet from him, giving an account of the trial, with his Speeches Entire! By the by there were some very good things in his speeches, with a great deal of irrelevant matter. Notoriety, or rather the love of notoriety is his ruling passion, to attain that he would cheerfully sub submit to disfranchisement, or almost any thing else. The Secretary of the Navy is to be here in a few weeks, with the view of spending some time here. So I learn from Mr. VanBuren, who is now here & has been for three weeks past. I hope you have got on the right side of the Secy. and that your present good fortune is but the commencement of better luck.

Let us hear about your patent rigging, for by this time some idea can be formed of its utility. I believe you owe me a letter, but as I intend to reform my bad habits, and to write frequently, I shall not stand upon trifles of that sort. If any of your acquaintances are about visiting Albany, I shall be glad, to be introduced to them, as it will always give me great pleasure to meet them, who possess your confidence & friendship.

Believe me very affectionately yours


B.F. Butler


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Source: N New York State Library
Collection: Benjamin Franklin Butler Papers (N)
Series: Series 4 (3 December 1821-31 December 1824)