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Special Message

June 22, 1841

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I have the honor to submit the accompanying correspondence between myself and the Hon. J. Burner, J. C. Wright, and others, who arrived some days ago in this city as a committee on behalf of the people of Cincinnati for the purpose, with the assent of the family, of removing the remains of the late President of the United States to North Bend for interment. I have thought it to be my duty thus to apprise Congress of the contemplated proceedings.


WASHINGTON CITY, June 16, 1841 .


DEAR SIR: The undersigned were appointed by the citizens and the city council of Cincinnati and by many of the surviving soldiers of the late war to apply to the widow and family of our distinguished fellow-citizen, the late President of the United States, for permission to remove his remains from the city of Washington to the State of Ohio for interment. They have made the application directed, and have received permission to perform that sacred trust. They have now the honor of reporting to you their arrival in this city, and of asking your approbation of the measure contemplated and your cooperation in carrying it into effect.

We are fully aware of the high estimate you placed on the talents and virtues of our lamented friend and fellow-citizen, the late Chief Magistrate of the Union, whose friendship and confidence you possessed many years. We saw the tear fall from your eye and mingle with the tears of the nation when the inscrutable will of Heaven removed him from us.

Knowing these things, we approach you with confidence, well assured that you will justly appreciate our motive for undertaking the mournful duty we have been deputed to perform, and that the same kind feeling which has marked your course through life will prompt you on this occasion to afford us your countenance, and, if necessary, your cooperation.

If it meet your approbation, the committee will do themselves the honor of waiting upon you at the President's house at any hour you may please to designate.

With high respect, we are, your friends and fellow-citizens,




WASHINGTON, June 17, 1841.


GENTLEMEN: Your letter of the 16th was duly handed me, and I lose no time in responding to the feelings and sentiments which you have expressed for yourselves and those you represent, and which you have correctly ascribed to me in regard to the lamented death of the late President. As a citizen I respected him; as a patriot I honored him; as a friend he was near and dear to me. That the people of Cincinnati should desire to keep watch over his remains by entombing them near their city is both natural and becoming; that the entire West, where so many evidences of his public usefulness are to be found, should unite in the same wish was to have been expected; and that the surviving soldiers of his many battles, led on by him to victory and to glory, should sigh to perform the last melancholy duties to the remains of their old commander is fully in consonance with the promptings of a noble and generous sympathy. I could not, if I was authorized to do so, oppose myself to their wishes. I might find something to urge on behalf of his native State in my knowledge of his continued attachment to her through the whole period of his useful life; in the claims of his relatives there, whose desire it would be that the mortal remains of the illustrious son should sleep under the same turf with those of his distinguished father, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; in the wish of the citizens of his native county to claim all that is now left of him for whom they so lately cast their almost unanimous suffrage; to say nothing of my own feelings, allied as I am by blood to many of his near relatives, and with our names so closely associated in much connected with the late exciting political contest. These considerations might present some reasonable ground for opposing your wishes; but the assent which has been given by his respected widow and nearest relatives to the request of the people of Cincinnati admits of no opposition on my part, neither in my individual nor official character.

I shall feel it to be my duty, however, to submit our correspondence to the two Houses of Congress, now in session, but anticipating no effort from that quarter to thwart the wishes expressed by yourselves in consonance with those of the widow and nearest relatives of the late President. I readily promise you my cooperation toward enabling you to fulfill the sacred trust which brought you to this city.

I tender to each of you, gentlemen, my cordial salutations.


(NOTE.--The remains of the late President of the United States were removed from Washington to North Bend, Ohio, June 26, 1841.)

John Tyler, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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