Guide to the Correspondence of Garret D. Wall,Lawyer, U.S. Senator 1809-1841 MG 371
TABLE OF CONTENTS
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Bob Golon as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Garret Dorset Wall was born in Middletown Township, New Jersey, on March 10, 1783. His father, James Wall, was an officer during the War for Independence and took part in the Battle of Monmouth. The elder Wall died when Garret was nine, causing Garret to move to Woodbridge, New Jersey, to live with his uncle John G. Wall until 1798.
At the age of 15, Garret Wall moved to Trenton, and became a student-at-law in the office of General Jonathan Rhea, who was the clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Wall studied common law, focusing on the areas of real estate, inheritance, and titles. When he turned 21, Wall was licensed as an attorney and began practice in Trenton. In 1807, he attained the title of Counselor-at-Law, and in 1812 was elected to clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court for a term of five years.
Wall served during the War of 1812, commanding the Phoenix Infantry Corps, a volunteer militia unit from Trenton. After he returned from the war, Wall completed his term in the New Jersey Supreme Court, and attained the rank of Sergeant-at-Law. In 1822, he was elected to the lower branch of the New Jersey State Legislature, representing Hunterdon County.
A Democrat, Wall supported Andrew Jackson’s U. S. Presidential candidacy in 1824, and in 1827, Wall was reelected to the Assembly. In 1829, Wall, extremely popular among state Democrats, was elected by the Legislature to the position of Governor of the State of New Jersey. He declined the election and did not serve. President Jackson nominated Wall to United States District Attorney for New Jersey instead, and he served until he was elected to the United States Senate in 1834, where he served until he was defeated for reelection in 1841.
While a U. S. Senator, Wall served as chairman on the Committee on the Militia, and also was a member of the Committee on Military Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary. In 1848, Wall was made a judge of the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, where he remained until he died on November 22, 1850.
This collection consists of the correspondence of Garret D. Wall, dating from 1809 until 1841. Most of the letters discuss issues pertaining to Wall’s legal practice and profession, with comments regarding financial and legal matters. Two of the letters are from Wall, as U.S. Senator, to J. K. Paulding, Secretary of the Navy, recommending individuals for appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. One letter is from Senator Wall to Secretary of the Navy Mahlon Dickerson recommending an individual’s appointment to Navy Surgeon.
This collection is arranged in two groups: outgoing and incoming letters.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
For materials related to individuals documented in this collection, see:
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 371, Garret D. Wall Correspondence, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Gift, in part, of the NJHS Women’s Branch, 1957.
The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Webpage, entry for Garret D. Wall, retrieved Sept. 30, 2003, http://bioguide.congress.gov
Cyclopedia of New Jersey Biography. New York City: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1923, 62-64.