Charleston: Thomas Ledger Hutchinson, 1849.
Letter. 8" x 10" one page letter on blue unlined paper. Folded vertically and horizontally. Two small tape repairs on the verso. Old ink word "Duplicate" written on the verso of the letter. The letter reads, "Sir, As the Period is now at hand, when you retire from the high office whose duties you have administered with so much honor to yourself and prosperity to our Country - to seek the tranquil enjoyments of home - The City Council of Charleston in behalf the Citizens, without distinction of party, desirous that an opportunity should be afforded them to testify their approval of the firm and constitutional ground you have maintained upon the momentous question of Southern rights, & the consistency hat has marked your official career from the dawn to its close - have directed me to write you to visit the City on your way homeward, as the honored guest of the City, & to receive from them those demonstrations respect your public conduct so justly demands. Permit me sir on this occasion to make known my personal satisfaction in having been made the organ of representing the desire of our Citizens & to subscribe myself with the highest consideration, Yr. Obt. Servt. T. L. Hutchinson Mayor" Very good. Item #9264
This letter was addressed to Polk less than two weeks before his term ended. Polk's diary entry for February 26, 1849, acknowledges his receipt of a letter from the "Mayor of Charleston, S.C., inviting me on behalf of the City Council to visit Charleston on my way home as the "guest of the City". I answered the letter & accepted the invitation." On March 8, 1849, Polk was met by by a committee from Charleston in Wilmington who escorted him to the wharf and onto the ship; they arrived in Charleston on March 9th. There was great fanfare; he was presented to Mayor Hutchinson at noon. He had a meeting with Governor Seabrook a bit later and in the evening was treated to a public dinner with the Mayor, Governor and "many Vice Presidents." He called the reception "most brilliant and everything connected with it was conducted with order and good taste." [The Diary of James K. Polk During His Presidency 1845-1849. (pages 352, 380-385) Vol. IV. Edited by M. Quaife 1910].
Thomas Hutchinson (1812-1883) was the 35th Mayor of Charleston. He attended Cambridge University and later graduated from Harvard Law School in 1832. After graduating from law school he decided to plant rice along the Chehaw River and later the Cooper River. He was elected Mayor in 1846 and served to 1850. He was elected again from 1852-1855. He was elected a member of the South Carolina Legislature in 1863 and served one term. He was President of the Charleston Library Society for a number of years and was instrumental in saving many of their valuable books during the war. The Hutchinsons were a prominent family in South Carolina and Georgia. [City of Charleston Year Book 1883 pages 276-278].