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Hawaii association
Tyler, John
the Guano trade

John Tyler - an intriguing ALS as President, October 4, 1844 relating to Hawaii. The two page letter to businessman Alfred Benson of New York makes a tantalizing reference to Hawaii "The subject of the Depot at the Sandwich Islands has already been considered. It will not be changed." He then adds a paragraph discussing his wife's travels and care of a Mrs. Benson.

One of Benson's many commercial adventures was the collection and importing of guano from Pacific Islands. Guano was a remarkably potent and therefor valuable fertilizer for American farmers. The crop yield of fields fertilized with guano were multiple factors higher than traditional fertilizer at the time, thus creating a high demand and price. Hawaii was a rich source but merchants needed port infrastructure as well some US protection of claims of "business deals" to justify the investment on the valuable commodity. The letter suggests Benson was trying to nudge his presidential friend to make a more aggressive American presence on the island with a supply station of some sort, possibly for military purposes. The letter is in excellent condition with typical folds.

Washington Oct. 4, 1844

My Dr. Sir;
You have with this a letter to Lieut. McNeil. The subject of the Depot at the Sandwich Islands has already been considered. It will not be changed.
For your kind invitation through me to Alice to remain with Mrs. Benson a few days after Mrs. Tyler's return, you have my thanks. She is under the charge of Mrs. T and will be her travelling companion. I fear that it will not be proper for her to separate from Mrs. T now. She will however, as I do, duly appreciate the kindness of your invitation.
With my respects to Mrs. Benson accept _______ of my regard
John Tyler