|Creator:||Berrien, John MacPherson, 1781-1856|
|Title:||John MacPherson Berrien letter to Peter Duponceau|
|Dates:||1839 July 24|
John MacPherson Berrien was an eloquent lawyer, a U.S. senator, and the attorney general of the United States during U.S. President Andrew Jackson's administration. Berrien County, created in south Georgia in 1856, is named for him. For more information, see the article " John MacPherson Berrien (1781-1856)" in the New Georgia Encyclopedia and his congressional biography.
Peter Stephen Duponceau was a jurist and linguist, born at St-Martin de Ré, France, 1760 June 3. Educated in a Benedictine college, he exhibited a marked taste for languages, and in 1777 accompanied Baron Steuben to America, serving as his secretary in the Revolutionary army, with rank of captain, until compelled by ill-health to resign in 1781. He settled in Philadelphia, studied law, and was admitted to the Bar. Throughout a long life he was identified with public affairs and was also author or translator of a number of legal or historical treatises, but his fame rests chiefly upon his studies of the native American languages at a period when ethnology was as yet hardly recognized as a science. Most of his linguistic papers appeared in volumes of the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia), of which he was a member from 1791 and president from 1827 until his death. His memoir on the grammatical system of the Indian languages (Mémoire sur le systeme grammatical des langues de quelques nations Indiennes de l'Amérique du Nord) won the Volney prize of the French Institute in 1835. He died in Philadelphia, 1844 April 1.
The collection consists of a letter from John MacPherson Berrien to Peter Duponceau, dated 1839 July 24. Berrien writes on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society concerning information Duponceau, President of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, had written for earlier involving the production of silk in early Georgia, and also urging greater cooperation between historical societies.
John MacPherson Berrien letter to Peter Duponceau, ms 3781, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.
Related collections in the Hargrett Library include the Berrien, John letters, ms 415, the Berrien family genealogy, ms 1494, the John MacPherson Berrien letter to Richard Henry Wilde, ms 1539, and the John MacPherson Berrien letters to Littleton W. Tazewell, ms 784, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.
Related collections in other repositories include the John MacPherson Berrien Papers, 1778-1938, #63, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, John Macpherson Berrien Papers, MS 67, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia, and John Macpherson Berrien Collection, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.