Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: John M. Binckley to Walt Whitman, 24 March 1868

Date: March 24, 1868

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01600

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial notes: The annotations, "March 24, '68," and "note to Mr. Binckley & answer," are in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, John Schwaninger, Eder Jaramillo, Caterina Bernardini, Amanda J. Axley, Cristin Noonan, Kassie Jo Baron, and Stephanie Blalock

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Attorney General's Office.

My Dear Sir,

Your wishes2 admit of easy compliance, since Mr Browning3 has resolved to make a vacancy of the post of pardon clerk and the opportunity will not be lost to add in the professional force of the office—my brother has consented to take the place, for law labor, the pending matters to be helped out by the aid of some one of the clerks, under his supervision.

Yours Truly
John M Binckley

John M. Binckley served as assistant U.S. Attorney General during the tenure of U.S. Attorney General Henry Stanbery (1866–1868). Binckley died in 1878, of apparent suicide.


1. This letter is addressed: W Whitman Esq. [back]

2. This letter was Binckley's response to Whitman's letter of the same day, March 24, 1868, in which Whitman asserted his desire to remain in the role of Record Clerk rather than be considered for a post as pardon clerk. [back]

3. Orville Hickman Browning (1806–1881) completed the unexpired term of Senator Stephen A. Douglas after Douglas's death in 1861. Defeated for re-election in 1862, Browning established a law firm in Washington, and later actively supported President Andrew Johnson, who appointed him Secretary of the Interior in 1866. After the resignation of Henry Stanbery (1803–1881), Browning was appointed Acting Attorney General on March 12, 1868. At the conclusion of Johnson's administration, Browning returned to private law practice. [back]


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