Luther Bradish letters to John and Hannah Warner Bradish

Luther Bradish, 1783-1863 (by Mathew Brady, from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection)

Luther Bradish, 1783-1863 (by Mathew Brady, from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection)

L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection:¬†Luther Bradish letters to John and Hannah Warner Bradish (MSS 8693).¬†Materials include two letters, written in 1803, from Luther Bradish to his parents, Colonel John Bradish and Hannah Warner Bradish. The letters were written while Luther was a student at William’s College and they contain insights about maturing into a man, details about and experiences at college, and comments and questions about his family’s well-being. Dated January 7, 1803 and June 28, 1803.

Luther Bradish was born in Cummington, Massachusetts, on August 30, 1863, to parents John Bradish and Hannah Warner Bradish. From 1800 to 1804 he studied at Williams College in Massachusetts and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. After graduating he became a lawyer in New York City. He spent time traveling the world before volunteering to serve in the United States Army during the War of 1812. In 1814 he married Helen Elizabeth Gibbs but in 1816 both Helen and their son died.

In 1820 he was sent by President Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams to Turkey (then Constantinople) to negotiate a trade treaty with the Ottoman Empire. During this time he traveled extensively doing business throughout the Middle East, including Egypt. In New York Bradish was elected as a member of the New York assembly in 1827 and its speaker in 1838. Throughout his adult life Bradish was an abolitionist and was criticized for his statements about race while a member of the Assembly. In 1839 Bradish was elected Lieutenant Governor of New York (a position he held until 1842). That same year he also married Mary Elizabeth Hart; the two would eventually have one child together. In 1842 President Millard Fillmore appointed Bradish Assistant Treasurer of New York. In 1842-1844 he was the President of the New York Historical Society.

Luther Bradish died on August 30, 1863, in Newport, Rhode Island.

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