University Archives


Judah P. Benjamin Legal Brief from Antebellum New Orleans

1p document entirely engrossed by Judah P. Benjamin (1811-1884), the future Confederate Attorney General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State, and signed by him as "Benjamin / atty" at lower right. Submitted to the Judge of the First Judicial District of Louisiana on September 25, 1837. Partly printed and partly handwritten in Benjamin's hand. Bearing wax seal residue at upper left. Expected folds, some split and professionally reinforced, and a nearly complete separation to the central horizontal fold. Minor chipped edges have been professionally in-filled. Overall light toning and isolated staining, else very good. 8" x 13." From the Collection of Dr. Lawrence E. Miller (1931-2014), orthopedic surgeon, psychiatrist, and autograph collector.

Benjamin, who had studied the law and passed the bar after relocating to New Orleans in 1828, represented city resident and plaintiff John Hall. The legal brief concerned an unpaid promissory note in the amount of $513--a tremendous sum in the late 1830s.

Reading in part: "The petition of John Hall who resides in New Orleans respectfully shows that J.H. Perrault and Adolphe Duhart who reside in New Orleans are justly and truly indebted unto petitioner in the full sum of Five hundred and thirteen 66/2/3/100 dollars, with three dollars costs of protest, and interestÂ…"

Judah P. Benjamin was one of the most important politicians of the Confederate States of America, serving in a succession of major cabinet positions between 1861 and 1865.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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