Lewis H. Machen notebook
Scope and Contents
The notebook that forms this collection is a small, bound, holographic book containing mostly accounts and expenses of Lewis H. Machen. Many of the accounts are dated, 1819-1822, when Machen was erecting a home on Maryland Avenue in Washington, D.C. Travel expenses, household purchases, and monies paid to daily workmen are listed.
Of particular interest in the notebook is Machen's recording of a conversation between himself and Walter S. Lowrie, Secretary of the U.S. Senate in 1828. Machen believed the confrontation so serious that he wanted "to preserve an account of it." The discussion arose as a result of Machen's criticisms of Andrew Jackson printed in the National Intelligencer previous to the presidential election of 1928. Machen defended his opinions and suggested he would resign his Senate position rather than compromise his right to free expression.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Lewis H. Machen was born in Maryland, February 22, 1790, but lived as a young child in Washington, D. C. In 1809, he began working as a clerk in the office of the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, a position he retained for nearly fifty years. He is credited with removing archives and secret documents of the Senate before the British advance on Washington in 1814. Machen married Cynthia Pease of Connecticut in 1812, and after her death three years later, he married Caroline Webster (died July 8, 1878) of New Hampshire. They were the parents of Arthur W. (1827-1915), James P. Machen (died 1913), and Emmeline Machen (died 1887).
In 1828, Machen published An Examination of the Civil Administration of Governor Jackson in Florida in which he criticized Andrew Jackson's career as territorial governor in 1821. He was anti-Jackson during the divisive presidential campaign of 1828 when Andrew Jackson defeated John Quincy Adams. During the campaign, Machen wrote a series of strong articles in support of the Whig candidate, Adams, for the National Intelligencer. Walter Lowrie, Secretary of the U.S. Senate, [and Machen's superior officer] objected to his partisan position. Machen was able to retain his position, and in 1836, was promoted to Principal Clerk of the Senate.
Lewis H. Machen died in Baltimore, August 11, 1863.
0.167 Cubic Feet (1 item)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The provenance of the collection is unknown. Most likely it was given by Mrs. Arthur W. Machen, Jr. along with other Machen Family items.
Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in December 1994.
- Lewis H. Machen notebook
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
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Baltimore MD 21218 USA