John McLean papers
1828-1852 (bulk 1844-1852)
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The John McLean papers contain 8 items related to the Supreme Court justice. The earliest items date to December 1858 and concern the McLean family's social engagements. These include 2 notes accepting invitations to a dinner at the McLean home, one signed by Colonel Nathan Towson, and an invitation to tea from "Mrs. Porter." In a letter dated April 24, 1844, David Gwynne referred to recent disciplinary action taken against his son Nathaniel at West Point, expressing his belief that it would prove helpful for the boy. A series of four letters from George Hildt, John McLean's brother-in-law, document their efforts to secure a place at West Point for Hildt's son, John McLean Hildt. On May 21, 1850, Hildt revealed his son's desire to attend West Point and requested assistance. Though a place was not immediately forthcoming (April 15, 1852), Secretary of War Charles Magill Conrad later informed McLean that his nephew could be admitted to the academy (July 20, 1852). The final item is a letter from Hildt to McLean confirming his son's intention to take his place at West Point and anticipating the costs of sending him there. The letter also concerns presidential politics and the possibility of McLean's nomination for president.