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The Raab Collection

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The Document That Portended a Revolution in Postal History and Practice in the US: The Original Patent for the First American Envelope-making Machine, Signed by Secretary of State James Buchanan

Buchanan, James The entire patent language is present, describing the inventionSuch machines ended the previous age-old practice of sending letters with the recipient's name and address on the back of the same sheetThe practice of enclosing letters in separate sealed covers (envelopes) is a fairly recent development. For ages letters were folded, turned over, and the recipient's name and address written on the back of the same sheet of paper. These were called address panels, and they used sealing wax to keep the folds in place. In the 1840s, the idea arose of covering a letter by folding a separate sheet about it to physically protect it and prevent infringement of confidentiality.Americans Jesse K. Park and Cornelius S. Watson patented the first American envelope folding machine in 1849. Little is known of the inventors, but they transferred their rights to William W. Rose, a manufacturer with offices in Wall Street, so likely they were inventing this machine at his behest and with his financing. Their treadle-operated, foot-powered folder first glued and then creased and folded the envelopes. Park and Watson were granted patent number 6055 on January 23, 1849. That machine is now at the National Postal Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.Document signed, four full pages, Washington, January 23, 1849, being the patent, plus attached copy of the description and claim, for his historic invention, signed by James Buchanan as Secretary of State and Edmund Burke as Commissioner of Patents. The Journal of the Franklin Institute from 1849 records patents issued that year. In January 1849, this patent is listed as number 63. It summarizes the patent and claim as follows: "For an Improvement in Machines for Making Envelopes, William W Rose assignee of J.K. Park and Cornelius S. Watson, City of New York January 23. The patentee says: "The nature of my invention consists in the combining and arranging in a table or frame certain levers or treadles having upright sliding bars connected thereto for stamping or creasing the paper for envelopes and gumming the edges of the same with a folder frame and folders attached in such manner as when the treadles are operated upon by the attendant of the machine the paper is gummed and folded into envelopes at one operation."Claim: What I claim as my invention is the invention herein described for making envelopes the same consisting of the stamper rod the gumming apparatus and the folding apparatus."This is clearly one of the most important, if not most important, moments of invention in U.S. postal history. It was not until the mid-1850s that envelope-making machines were perfected and envelopes came into common use. By the Civil War, they were the rule rather than the exception.
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President Washington Appoints a Frenchman as Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Paris During the French Revolutionary Wars to Mollify the Pro-French Faction in the U.S.

Washington, George This very appointment would lead Ambassador to France James Monroe to set Department policy by insisting that only American citizens serve as heads of consulates in foreign landsWashington would soon rescind this controversial appointment and replace him with a British-born American to satisfy the pro-British factionFrom 1790 to 1794, the French Revolution became increasingly radical. After French King Louis XVI was tried and executed on January 21, 1793, war between France and monarchal nations Great Britain and Spain inevitably followed. These two powers joined Austria and other European nations in the war against Revolutionary France that had already started in 1791. The United States sought to remain neutral, but this policy was made difficult by heavy-handed British and French actions. The British harassed and seized neutral American merchant ships, while the French Government dispatched a controversial Minister to the United States, Edmond-Charles Genêt, whose violations of the American neutrality policy embroiled the two countries in the Genet affair in 1794. And although Americans had treaty and sentimental bonds with France for its help in the Revolution, the Reign of Terror in France that began on September 5, 1793, eroded that support.Serious divisions existed in the United States between those who supported the French, including Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, and those who supported the British, including Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Fearing the repercussions of a war with Britain, and the unpreparedness of the United States to deal with such a war, President George Washington sided with Hamilton. He issued a formal proclamation of neutrality on April 22, 1793. Jefferson resigned his office on December 31, 1793, and was replaced by Edmund Randolph, who was more in tune with Washington's policies. This cemented the power of the pro-British faction in the U.S. government. Washington then sent pro-British Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate with the British Government, to settle outstanding issues between the two countries that had been left unresolved since American independence. Jay left for England on May 12, 1794, determined to succeed.But the U.S. government did not want to antagonize France altogether. Just weeks later, in late May 1794, James Monroe was appointed the new American ambassador in France, and he was one who wanted to maintain cordial relations with the French Government. Randolph's instructions to Monroe contained conciliatory language about French-American relations, as surely Monroe hoped they would. And in June when a consul needed to be appointed to serve in the American embassy in Paris, a Frenchman, Alexander du Vernet, was selected. Monroe presented his credentials in Paris in August 1794.Document signed, on vellum, Philadelphia, June 9, 1794, appointing "Alexander Duvernet?Vice Consul for the United States of America at Paris in France."But not everyone was happy with this appointment. The pro-British faction was, unsurprisingly, opposed. But opposition came from another quarter, and an influential one. On October 16, 1794, Monroe himself wrote Randolph from Paris, taking the position that "The consulate?forms their [Americans with interests in France] natural bulwark in the commercial line against impositions of every kind. Indeed it is the only one which can be provided for them?I am sorry, therefore, upon inspecting our establishment?it was by no means in general endowed with sufficient strength or vigor for the present crisis. American citizens alone can furnish an adequate protection to their countrymen. In the hands of a Frenchman?the consular functions lie dormant." Thus, Monroe was unhappy with the decision to appoint a non-American as a consul at his embassy. This was tantamount to calling for du Vernet's removal.On November 19, 1794, representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed Jay's Treaty. The treaty proved unpopular with the American public but did accomplish the goals of maintaining peace between the two nations, preserving U.S. neutrality, and accomplishing the evacuation of the British from the Northwest Territory. Two days later, Joseph Pitcairn was appointed to replace du Vernet, the excuse being that he had "loitered" in the United States "too long". Pitcairn, who was British-born but a U.S. citizen, on the one hand satisfied the pro-British faction, and on the other gave Monroe an American to serve at his side in Paris. Pitcairn was consul at Paris from 1794?97. After Pierre Auguste Adet, the French minister to the U.S., denounced Pitcairn as a British spy, President John Adams appointed him consul at Hamburg, where he served until 1802.
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Hemingway Approves of the Study of the Original Manuscripts of His Two Great Works, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “A Farewell to Arms”

Hemingway, Ernest He is not jealous but open with them, encouraging scholarship focused on his manuscriptsA rare letter referencing both these monumental books, which are so tied to his legacy ."A Farewell to Arms" and "For Whom the Bell Tolls", two of the great works of 20th century literary giant Ernest Hemingway, are classics in American literature. The first, published in 1929, is a semi-autobiographical work centered on a lieutenant in the Italian army. This mirrors Hemingway's own experience as an ambulance driver in World War I. "A Farewell to Arms" cemented the writer's place in the American literary scene. The second, "For Whom the Bell Tolls", published in 1940 after Hemingway had witnessed firsthand the violent developments in Europe, tells the story of a younger American attached to a guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. Novelist Glendon Swarthout had a huge literary range, more than most American authors of his generation, writing 16 novels, which ranged from dramas to comedies to romances and mysteries, and another 6 novellas. Many of Glendon's novels became international bestsellers. In 1950, he was working at the University of Maryland, early in his career, and studying toward his doctorate. Hemingway was among the principle great writers that Swarthout studied. It was in this capacity that he wrote Hemingway, asking for copies of the manuscript portions of these works to apply to his studies, likely to see the writer's work in progress. In 1926, Hemingway had married Pauline Pfeiffer, niece of Gus Pfeiffer, in Paris. Uncle Gus developed a close relationship with Hemingway (they traveled together in Europe and Hemingway's car was a gift from him), a relationship that evidently postdated his relationship with Pauline, from whom he divorced in 1940. Pfeiffer held an interest in the Pharmaceutical Company, Richard Hudnut Co. He was holding the original drafts in 1950 and would die just 3 years later in 1953.In 1950 Hemingway lived in Cuba with his then-wife Mary. He was on the cusp of writing the "Old Man and the Sea" when he received Swarthout's letter. Typed Letter Signed, on his Finca Vigi, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba letterhead, December 4, 1950, to Glendon Swarthout, University of Maryland. Hemingway approved wholeheartedly in Swartout's proposal. "Dear Mr. Swarthout, Thank you very much for your letter which I am ashamed to have delayed in answering. I think your idea is an excellent one. Mr. G.A. Pfeiffer of the Richard Hudnut Co., 113 West 18th Street, New York City, NY has the original drafts of A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. I am sure he would consent to having you photostat any pages that you wish. Would suggest that you take an entire incident or the beginning chapter from each manuscript. I have the manuscript of the last book here and could get any pages photostatted from it that you wanted. With all the best wishes, Yours very truly, Ernest Hemingway." This is our first Hemingway letter referencing these great works, and it is rendered all the more important for the insight that Hemingway was not jealous of his manuscripts, and encouraged scholarship focused on them.
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Incredibly Rare Document Signed by Francois II, the Boy King of France, During His One Year Reign as Monarch

Francois II He allows a woman to take guardianship of her children and lands after the death of her husband.One of only four documents of Francois to reach the public market in decades and the only one in the past decadeFrancis II was a monarch of the House of Valois-Angoulême and King of France for a little over one year, from 1559 to 1560. He was also King consort of Scotland as a result of his marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, from 1558 until his death. He ascended the throne of France at the age of fourteen after the accidental death of his father, Henry II, in 1559. His mother was Catherine de Medici. His short reign was dominated by the first stirrings of the French Wars of Religion and the loss of French possessions in Corsica, Tuscany, Savoy, and almost all of Piedmont under the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis.The health of the King deteriorated in November 1560. On 16 November he suffered a syncope. After only 17 months on the throne, Francis II died in December 1560.Nicolas de Manneville was a senior lord in northwest France, president of the regional chamber, and an advisor to the King. He died in early 1560.Document Signed, "Francoys," February 28, 1560, an order to the officials of the Chamber of Accounts in Paris, Treasurer of France at Rouen, Bailiff of Caulx and others, stating that he has granted to Marguerite Cauchon, widow of Nicolas de Maneville, wardship of her children, land and possessions, but reserving himself patronage. Also signed by Laubespine, the Cardinal of Lorraine. Attached to it is another vellum document, describing Nicolas as a Counselor to the King or "Conseiller du Roi."
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General Zachary Taylor, in His Last Days in Command in Mexico, States That Military Service Brings Honor and Distinction

Taylor, Zachary He tells one of his regiment commanders, the future Military Governor of Saltillo, longing to see action, that "?should the war continue, [it may afford] opportunity for active operations. I truly hope such good fortune may fall upon yourself and your regiment, it needs but the occasion, I feel assured, to distinguish itself and behave with honor to itself and the state it has thus far so well represented."On February 23, 1847, at the Battle of Buena Vista near Monterrey in northern Mexico, more than 15,000 Mexican troops charged U.S. General Zachary Taylor's small command of soldiers. Using heavy artillery, the general's 5,000 men turned back the Mexican army led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. By nightfall, the Mexican army retreated. This battle did not end the Mexican War, but, though no one knew it at the time, it effectively ended the fighting in northern Mexico.During the Mexican War, Virginia Governor William Smith appointed Colonel John F. Hamtramck Colonel of the 1st Virginia Volunteer Regiment. Hamtramck had served under Taylor during the War of 1812. He and the other new regiment's officers arrived in Richmond in January 1847. The regiment shipped out in February, and after an arduous trip at sea arrived in Mexico in March. There they heard of Taylor's victory at Buena Vista. The unit ended up at Camargo in northern Mexico as part of Taylor's Army of Occupation. After enduring much sickness, in May the regiment was stationed in Monterrey on garrison duty. In August some of the regiment was transferred to Gen. Winfield Scott's forces advancing towards Mexico City, but Hamtramck remained with the main regiment in the north. They had seen no real fighting, and many of the Virginians felt this was not what they had come to Mexico for.Hamtramck wrote his old commander, General Taylor, asking to be added to the column joining Scott's forces so he could see action. Taylor responded, disclosing that he was being called back to the United States and would soon be replaced by General John Wool, and while regretfully declining Hamtramck's request, left hope that in the future Hamtramck and his men would see more active service. Taylor also assured Hamtramck that his present position would not be threatened by Wool's assumption of command.Letter Signed, "Camp near Monterey"; October 19, 1847, to Colonel John Francis Hamtramck, being that very letter."I have but just received yours of yesterday. and hasten therefore at this early moment to reply to your particular requests therein contained. It would have given me much pleasure to yield to your wish to join the other column, but under circumstances which so vitally affect the public service in this quarter I am compelled to retain yourself and your noble regiment in its present position. No one better than I myself knows its chivalric zeal and enthusiasm, its excellent state of drill and discipline and desire for more active service, but these very qualities render it the better safeguard for the public interests on this line."My late communications with War Dept. has strongly recommended the charge of this line to be given, in my leaving the country, to Genl. Wool, and if my suggestions can be of any avail, there are sure prospects that the command will fall upon him, I am confident that it is not in my power to speak of a successor in more strong or flattering terms than I have in my recommendation of him, and I do not doubt it will be accorded to him. On this ground therefore I think you have no reason to apprehend any interference with your present position. It is well understood that additional troops have been called out, and it is not impossible (indeed it is anticipated) that a portion may come here and afford, at no very distant day, should the war continue, opportunity for active operations. I truly hope such good fortune may fall upon yourself and your regiment, it needs but the occasion, I feel assured, to distinguish itself and behave with honor to itself and the state it has thus far so well represented. I regret much, my dear Colonel that I shall not have the pleasure to see you before my departure, but I trust the day is not distant, when I shall have the gratification of again meeting with and thanking you for your many terms of regard. Trusting that you will not long be disappointed in your desire to meet with active service, and wishing you and your officers all prosperity & distinction?"Wool officially replaced Taylor in November, but even prior to that formality, on October 22, 1847, Hamtramck received orders reflecting his appointment to command a division. This was a promotion, but he never did see major action in the war. He did however go on to serve as Military Governor of Saltillo.
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The Last Thing the Revered Mahatma Gandhi Ever Wrote Known to Be in Private Hands

Gandhi, Mahatma He was assassinated on January 30, 1948; this manuscript sheet was for his prayer speech of January 22, 1948This fragment states that "leaders doing the [right thing] was proving infectious"Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. Gandhi had been an astute political campaigner who fought for and won Indian independence from British rule, and championed the rights of the Indian poor. His example of non-violent protest set the example for Martin Luther King and others, and is still revered throughout the world today.Gandhi's biography states: "He stopped at the thresholds of the huts of the thousands of dispossessed, dressed like one of their own. He spoke to them in their own language. Here was living truth at last, and not only quotations from books, for this reason the Mahatma [Great Soul], the name given to him by the people of India, is his real name. Who else has felt like him that all Indians are his own flesh and blood? When love came to the door of India, that door was opened wide. At Gandhi's call India blossomed forth to new greatness, just as once before, in earlier times, when Buddha proclaimed the truth of fellow-feeling and compassion among all living creatures."In early September 1947, Gandhi moved to Delhi to help stem the rioting there and in the neighboring province of East Punjab. The rioting had come in the wake of the British partition of India into a largely Hindu India and largely Muslim Pakistan. The creation of the new independent dominions of India and Pakistan involved large, chaotic transfers of population between them, and there was violence and uprooted populations. Some Hindus saw the sufferings of Hindu refugees escaping from Pakistan as unbearable.Meanwhile, by late 1947, India and Pakistan were already at war over the province of Kashmir. The government of India, led by Congress Party leaders, had withheld a payment due to Pakistan in January 1948 because it did not want to finance Pakistan, which was at war with India at that time. Gandhi opposed the decision to freeze the payment as inconsistent with agreement, and on January 13, 1948, went on a fast-unto-death to pressure the Indian government to release the payment to Pakistan. The Indian government, yielding to Gandhi, reversed this decision, and Hindu extremists interpreted this sequence of events to be a case of Gandhi controlling power and hurting India and Hindus. The very day Gandhi went on his hunger strike the plot to assassinate him began to be planned. The hunger strike ended January 18.On January 20, 1948, two days after the termination of the fast, an attempt was made to throw a bomb at Gandhi as he was addressing a prayer meeting in the Birla House compound. The bomb exploded some fifty yards away from where he was sitting, but nobody was injured. A Hindu youth, described as a refugee from the West Punjab, was arrested and an unexploded hand-grenade was recovered from his pocket. The explosion was loud enough to be heard at a far-off distance. Gandhi remained unruffled. When Gandhi spoke, he referred to his statement that he might now proceed to visit Pakistan. But that, he explained, could only happen, if the Pakistan Government were convinced that he was a man of peace and friend of the Muslims and would, therefore, like him to go to Pakistan. He would, however, in any case, have to wait, till the doctors declared him fit to undertake the journey. This willingness to go to Pakistan further angered Hindu extremists. He also stated, referring to the sufferings of the Hindu and the Sikh refugees, that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was doing all that was possible in order to bring them speedy relief.Gandhi's biography offers this description: "Speaking after prayers on January 21, Gandhi referred to the previous day's bomb explosion. He had been receiving anxious inquiries and praise for being unruffled during the accident. He thought that it was military practice and, therefore, nothing to worry about. He had not realized, till after the prayers, that it was a bomb explosion and that the bomb was meant against him. God only knew how he would have behaved in front of a bomb aimed at him and exploding. Therefore, he deserved no praise?.What he wanted to convey was that no one should look down upon the misguided young man who had thrown the bomb. He probably looked upon the speaker [Gandhi] as an enemy of Hinduism. After all, had not the Gita said that whenever there was an evil-minded person damaging religion, God sent some one to put an end to his life?"The youth should realize that those who differed from him were not necessarily evil?Continuing he said, that some Sikh friends came and said that he should not think that the Sikhs had anything to do with the bomb explosion. He knew that the youth was not a Sikh. But what did it matter, whether he was a Sikh or a Hindu or a Muslim? He wished well to all perpetrators. He had told the Inspector-General of Police also, not to harass the youth in any way. They should try to win him over and convert him to right thinking and doing. He hoped that the youth as well as his guides would realize their error. For, it was a wrong done to Hinduism and to the country. He expected the audience to go on with the prayers, in spite of bomb explosions or a shower of bullets."The next day, January 22, was the first time after the fast that Gandhi was able to walk to the prayer ground. He said in his prayer speech that he was slowly gaining strength and, God willing, he hoped to return to his normal health before long. Again quoting from his biography, Gandhi's remarks were in part related to government leaders setting the right example. The fragment offered here is highlighted in bold.Autograph manuscript fragment, written on scrap paper, being edits Gandhi was making for publication of his January 22 speech. It is undated but it is after January 22, so in the last 8 days of his life. Gandhi said that a friend had written to him that although Pandit Nehru
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President Andrew Johnson Pardons a Medical Officer and Surgeon Who Ran a Convalescent Hospital and Spa for Confederate Soldiers

Johnson, Andrew A condition of the pardon was that the recipient swear off having slaves or using their laborThis is the first Johnson pardon for Confederate service or activities issued to a physician that we have ever seenDr. William T. Walker was born in Goochland County, Va. and graduated in medicine from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1847. He practiced for years in his native county. During the Civil War, he was surgeon and chief medical officer in the Huguenot Springs Hospital, a convalescent facility and spa for Confederate soldiers. Trains brought patients there from Richmond hospitals via the Richmond and Danville Railroad, where they were transferred to wagons for transportation to the hospital. Local women served as nurses. Buried in its cemetery are the remains of more than 250 soldiers, who died of both disease and battle wounds. Dr. Walker moved to Lynchburg in the 1880s. He was a member of the Medical Society of Virginia and delivered the Annual Address to the Public and Profession during the session in Roanoke in 1889. Near the end of his life, he was President of the Lynchburg Academy of Medicine.With the war just concluded, Dr. Walker sought a presidential pardon, as many did. Such a pardon was required for anyone who took part in the war, and although Walker had not fought, he was nonetheless considered to have served the cause.Document signed, Washington, July 3, 1865, signed by President Andrew Johnson and William Seward as Secretary of State, pardoning Walker. "Whereas W.T. Walker of Goochland County, Virginia, by taking part in the late rebellion against the Government of the United States, has made himself liable to heavy pains and penalties; And whereas the circumstances of his case render him a proper object of Executive clemency; Now therefore let it be known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States of America, in consideration of the premises, diverse other good and sufficient reasons me thereunto moving, do hereby grant to the said W.T. Walker a full pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed and arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion, conditioned as follows: this pardon to begin and take effect from the day on which the said W.T. Walker shall take the oath prescribed in the Proclamation of the President dated May 29th, 1865, and to be void and of no effect if the said W.T. Walker shall hereafter, at any time, acquire any property whatever in slaves, or make use of slave labor; and that he first pay all costs which may have accrued in any proceedings hither instituted against his person or property?." It is interesting to note that the condition of the pardon was that the recipient swear off having slaves or using their labor.This is the first Johnson pardon for Confederate service or activities issued to a physician that we have ever seen. A fascinating rarity, parting the curtain on the behind-the-lines hospitals that treated Confederate soldiers.
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Thomas Edison Directs an Experiment on Insulating Wires, to Make Running Electric Wiring Underground Possible

Edison, Thomas It was part of his grand vision for centralized electric power, and for selling his electric lamps"The linseed oil you are using in tubes & on armature paper is very acid. If you take your armature paper & put on tongue, it will taste sour. Better have sent me at once 1 gallon of oil from every dealer & I will test. The armature paper is lower resistance than paper itself. Add 5% paraffin immediately to compound until you can get right oil. Paraffin I find corrects considerably the effects of the acid."Edison began manufacturing lamps during the summer of 1880. Originally known as the Edison Lamp Works, the company changed its name to the Edison Lamp Company in 1882. A year later it moved its factory from Menlo Park to East Newark (Harrison), NJ. The company merged with several other Edison companies in 1889 to become the Edison General Electric Company.To sell lamps and promote electricity, Edison had a vision for centralized power. But to accomplish this, he needed to run electric wiring underground. Unshielded wires would leak electricity and were subject to corrosion and short-circuits. After experimenting with a variety of insulating materials, Edison finally decided on asphalt with beeswax, paraffin, and linseed oil. Armatures were used in electrical installations, so the insulating materials had to be compatible with it.John Kruesi was a shareholder in the Concentrating Works. He had been apprenticed as a locksmith in Switzerland, and migrated to the United States where he settled in Newark, New Jersey. There he met Thomas Edison, who was impressed with the young Swiss immigrant and took a liking to him, employing him in his workshop starting in 1872. He became Edison's head machinist through his Newark and Menlo Park periods, responsible for translating Edison's numerous rough sketches into working devices. Since constructing and testing models was central to Edison's method of inventing, Kruesi's skill in doing this was critical to Edison's success as an inventor. By the late 1880s, Kruesi was General Manager of the Edison Machine Works, a company set up to produce dynamos, large electric motors, and other components of electrical illumination.But there was a problem, so Edison wrote Kruesi. Autograph letter signed, on his Edison Lamp Company letterhead, Harrison, NJ, no date but from information on the letterhead and the text between 1883-85, to Kruesi. The letter clearly shows the extent to which Edison sought perfection, and how he went about his experiments. "You are in a pretty scrape. The linseed oil you are using in tubes & on armature paper is very acid. If you take your armature paper & put on tongue, it will taste sour. Better have sent me at once 1 gallon of oil from every dealer & I will test. The armature paper is lower resistance than paper itself. Add 5% paraffin immediately to compound until you can get right oil. Paraffin I find corrects considerably the effects of the acid. This is very serious & show the necessity of having someone up there to test your materials ? under any condition. Yours, Edison."This fascinating letter is unpublished. We obtained it from the Kruesi descendants, and it has never before been offered for sale.
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Signed Photograph of Hero of Ft. Sumter, Robert Anderson, Donated by Him to Benefit the Troops at the Great 1864 New York Sanitary Fair

Robert, Anderson Signed with his military rank and pictured in uniformIn November 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States. As a direct result, on December 20 South Carolina delegates to a special secession convention voted unanimously to secede from the Union. Six days later, U.S. Army Major Robert Anderson, commander of the army garrison in Charleston harbor, abandoned the indefensible Fort Moultrie and secretly relocated to Fort Sumter without orders from Washington, on his own initiative. He thought that providing a stronger position would delay an attack by South Carolina militia and improve the chances of a successful defense. Over the next weeks, repeated calls for the U.S. evacuation of Fort Sumter by the government of South Carolina were ignored. Then on January 9, 1861, a naval attempt to resupply and reinforce the garrison was repulsed, when the first shots of the war were fired to prevent the steamer Star of the West from completing the task.The U.S. Sanitary Commission cared for the Union's sick and wounded soldiers and promoted clean and healthy conditions in army camps. It was a privately funded agency and received no government financial support. Instead, it held fairs in large cities around the country, mainly in 1863-4, to raise money for its activities. The fairs attracted patriotic citizens in all walks of life. President Lincoln attended when he could, and he and his Cabinet contributed notes, documents, photographs, and signatures to be sold or auctioned at the fairs with the proceeds going to the Sanitary Commission.The Sanitary Fair in New York City, known as the Metropolitan Fair, was announced by the New York Times on January 1, 1864, to be held on March 28th of that year. The Sanitary Commission's brightest luminaries lived in New York, men like explorer, attorney and Union officer Col. Leavitt Hunt and Henry Whitney Bellows, president of the organization.The Metropolitan Fair was postponed to the 4th of April, and it ran until April 23. It was the largest Sanitary Fair ever and raised over $2 million dollars for the Union cause. This was the home front supporting the troops in the field. The Mayor of New York issued a Proclamation making the opening day of the Fair a holiday. Major-General John Adams Dix organized the largest military display ever in New York, with all the U.S. troops in the city. The Metropolitan Fair was officially declared open; there were flags everywhere and the streets, starting from noon, were thronged with half a million people. Then came was a two mile procession to city hall. The Fair itself was a grand, custom-built hall with a model of Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh, N.Y., and the uniform of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth, the Civil War's first Union fatality. The Metropolitan Fair was a combination museum, curiosity shop, theater, state fair, art gallery, war relic and trophy shop, sideshow, rummage sale, and mega?department store, unquestionably the largest exposition of any kind yet organized in a single venue. And all of this was donated to raise funds for the Union cause. And of the treasures to view and bid on, one was a signed image of war hero Robert Anderson.Carte de visite, signed, showing Anderson in uniform, "Robert Anderson, Brigadier General, USA".On the verso, someone has written in pencil that this came from the Sanitary Fair and was signed April 6, 1864.
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President Lincoln Appoints General John F. Reynolds, Whose Actions Secured the High Ground at Gettysburg, Including the Iconic Little Round Top, and Saved the Day for the Union

Lincoln, Abraham Reynolds selected the site of the battle, ensured it would be fought, and would be the highest ranking Union officer killed at GettysburgIn a document also signed by Secretary of War Simon Cameron, Lincoln also names General William Barry, Sherman's artillery chief who was with him through the campaign through Georgia and March to the SeaIn June 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee marched north into Pennsylvania, knowing the move would draw the Union's Army of the Potomac up to meet him. There, in the north, Lee was certain, a major victory would destroy the Union's main army and the Union cause, all at one stroke. It was a very plausible hypothesis, as morale in the north would have collapsed. But instead the victory ? at the battle of Gettysburg ? went to Union forces, and it was that victory that saved the Union. And that battle, the greatest of the Civil War, happened because General John Reynolds decided to make it happen.In early June 1863 President Lincoln offered Reynolds command of the Army of the Potomac, but Reynolds declined. Later that month, Reynolds was in command of the three corps (First, Third, and Eleventh) comprising the left wing of the Army of the Potomac as it advanced north towards Pennsylvania to meet Lee.On the morning of July 1st, General John Buford's Union cavalrymen were deployed in defensive positions on the northwest side of Gettysburg and engaged Confederate forces under the command of General Henry Heth as they advanced towards the town. The dismounted cavalrymen fought a delaying action and waited, hoping for the rest of the Union army to arrive. Buford sent word of the fighting to Reynolds. Reynolds immediately determined to ride in advance of his troops to meet with Buford and examine the situation and ground at Gettysburg. It proved a crucial decision.On the way to Gettysburg Reynolds encountered civilians fleeing south on the Emmitsburg Road, describing fighting ahead. When he soon learned the Rebels were advancing on the Chambersburg Pike, Reynolds hurried to the Lutheran Seminary, west of town, and found Buford. Reynolds reined in at the seminary's tower, asking, "What's the matter, John?" to which Buford shouted, "There's the devil to pay!" He filled Reynolds in, saying that his outposts were being driven in by Confederate General A.P. Hill's Corps, James Longstreet's Corps was in Hill's rear, and Richard Ewell's Corps was north of Gettysburg. This meant that up to 60,000 Rebels were approaching on the pike, with 30,000 more north of town. Reynolds had only a 3,500-man division within an hour's march. The rest of the 1st Corps would not arrive before 11 a.m.; the 11th Corps not until early afternoon. He surveyed the terrain from the tower, saw the high ground around offered by Cemetery Hill and the long ridge connecting it to the Round tops, and recognized it provided a fine defensive position. He was impressed that if conditions could be managed properly, this could be the perfect site for a Union/Confederate confrontation. But he needed to make an immediate decision on what to do.Reynolds' had three options. First, he could withdraw Buford and the 1st Corps ? retreat ? and concentrate them with the 3rd and 11th Corps above Emmitsburg?the safest option, though ceding the initiative to the enemy. This meant defeat, and he flatly refused to do it. Second, he could have Buford and his own oncoming units make for higher ground on and around Cemetery Hill. This was the best defensive terrain in the area, but it left the sparse Union forces at risk of being overwhelmed by the hugely superior Confederate force, which would then hold the high ground and would be free to avoid a battle or choose the ground if they wanted one. Third, he could give battle now ? engage the Rebels head on, trading men for time. This was the riskiest option, as it could lead to all his forces being exposed and overwhelmed. Buford argued for the latter option nonetheless, wanting to actively thwart the concentrated enemy advance to Gettysburg, and secure the high ground to the south, as the five corps of the Army of the Potomac arrived to support and occupy the best terrain. Reynolds accepted Buford's recommendation, and chose option three, thus selecting the site for the battle of Gettysburg, ensuring it would be fought, and creating conditions designed to allow Union forces to seize the high ground in maintainable numbers once they arrived. Almost surely General George G. Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac, would not have chosen it had he been there to decide. Reynolds then sent off a note to Meade reading, "I will fight [the enemy] inch by inch, and if driven into the town I will barricade the streets and hold him aback as long as possible."For reaffirming Buford's advice and selecting option three, the Army of the Potomac's Chief of Artillery Gen. Henry Hunt later wrote, "He [Reynolds] had opened brilliantly a battle which would require three days of hard fighting to close with victory."Reynolds then directed the deployment of the arriving Union regiments. The two brigade First Division of the First Corps were the first Federal units to arrive. His Iron Brigade clashed with the Tennessee and Alabama troops of Rebel General James J. Archer's brigade in the Herbst Woods. Reynolds was in the thick of the action mounted on his horse, issuing orders, just east of the woods. As the 2nd Wisconsin rushed past Reynolds into the woods, Reynolds shouted "Forward men, forward, for God's sake, and drive those fellows out of the woods." The two sides blasted away at each other with devastating effect. Reynolds, in his hazardous forward position, was hit in the back of neck by a bullet and killed instantly. He was the highest ranking Union officer killed in the battle.William F. Barry was Chief of Artillery under General George B, McClellan, and in that post organized ordnance for the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular campaign, taking part in the battles there. After
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Napoleon Takes Over in Egypt: He Authorizes the Mission of his Famed Future Spy, Lascaris of Arabia, to Map and Organize Territory Napoleon Hoped to Rule

Bonaparte, Napoleon Lascaris, a descendant of Emperor Lascaris and a Knight of Malta, would advocate for Egyptian independence before going to Arabia as Napoleon's spyNapoleon's venture into Egypt is well known. In May 1798, he headed an invasion force of 25,000 men in an attempt to seize control of the country from the Mamelukes. His aim, apart from Egypt itself, was twofold ? destroy the Ottoman Empire and gain access to India via the Red Sea with the intention of crushing the British there and taking it over as well. This was, after all the man who reputedly said while in Egypt that Europe was not big enough for him.Napoleon got off to a good start in July, when at the Battle of the Pyramids, he gained a crucial victory that ended centuries of Mamelukes rule in Egypt. Although August brought a defeat at the hands of Lord Nelson at the Battle of Abukir Bay and ended an effort at a quick Middle Eastern conquest, Napoleon set about installing an organization in Egypt and also began a campaign of cultural influence.Theodore Lascaris de Vintimille, known as Lascaris of Arabia, is a figure of great note and entire novels are dedicated to his exploits. In 1798, he sent Lascaris to Egypt to organize Egypt, and begin outreach to Egyptians he wanted to rule. Lascaris embarked on a campaign to create an independent A decade after the Egypt incursion, Napoleon chose him to undertake a secret campaign among the Bedouin tribes, to live among them and learn their ways ? over a century before Lawrence of Arabia did the same. This order shows that Lascaris was already working for Napoleon in 1798, and was mapping out and organizing territory.Order Signed, Cairo, Egypt, November 8, 1798, authorizing that a commission aimed by the general engineer shall honor, "the expenses incurred by "Lascaris, architect, for the establishment of the offices of administration and recording of the territory."Napoleon's dream ended in disaster. His fleet had been destroyed by Nelson at Abukir Bay thus cutting him and his army off. Before long, despite a couple of military victories against Ottoman forces, he slipped back to France, leaving his stranded army at the mercy of the Ottomans and British. In 1801, the remnants of his army were repatriated in British ships.
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President Ronald Reagan Details His Grievances Against the Press, and Says “I’ve got a million?examples of press dishonesty.”

Reagan, Ronald He laments that presidents must run the "South Lawn gauntlet" of the press every time they leave the White House, and that his motives are always misinterpreted"A black family back here had a cross burned on their lawn. I visited them. I wanted to do it without press so they couldn't say (as they did) that I was doing it as an image building device. There was no way I could do it my way. We were a parade all the way."He also accuses President Kennedy of having smuggled young women ? "pretty little cocker spaniels ? in and out of the White House"President Reagan's approach to the press arose principally from the conviction within the Administration that reporters' pursuit of information, by its very nature, disrupted Administration plans, hampered the President's need to communicate a basic message, and construed his motives and intentions. In the process, he and his advisers believed, the institution of the Presidency itself was weakened. Reagan's aides came into office mindful that the last four Presidents had been politically defeated or driven from office and convinced that the press's reporting had contributed to their downfall. The emotional press treatment of the Iran hostage crisis during the Carter Administration has never ceased to haunt them. Reagan's intention from the start was to keep the press from calling the shots: No longer would reporters be the arbiters of what constitutes a crisis, nor be the judges of a President's responsibility; and to limit their ability to define his agenda and misinterpret his feelings.Douglas Morrow was a Hollywood screenwriter and film producer. He earned an Academy Award for his script for 1949's The Stratton Story, a biography of Baseball player Monty Stratton, who was disabled in a hunting accident. Reagan, who catapulted to fame as an actor, became friends with Morrow when Morrow sought to cast him in that part, remained friends throughout the Hollywood days and kept in contact through most of his presidency.Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, Washington, January 10, 1983, to Morrow, detailing his displeasure with the press and giving examples of incidents in which his motives were mischaracterized. "You must have cut one or two ski runs short to write that letter. First, I'm glad you were on the slopes and feeling great, but how come you now look like Al Haig? were you in for plastic surgery?"Doug, I appreciate very much your concern and, indeed, share much of it, but have to tell you there are no answers to some of the things you cited. For example, photos of me in riding boots, white tie, etc. Custom has it that helicopter departures from the South Lawn (and security makes helicopters a must) are covered by the entire press corps which is stationed right there in the west wing of the White House. I have to pass them to get to the copter and usually they are screaming questions which I usually ignore. The white tie incident you mentioned was a case of a quick in and out of New York in which we had to leave and return to the White House already dressed."The same applies to Camp David. And, Camp David is a must and has been for every President since F.D.R. Doug, we'd go stir crazy if we couldn't escape the "gilded cage." But again, it's that South Lawn gauntlet you have to run. Yes, a President once smuggled pretty little cocker spaniels in and out of the White House but, believe me, that can be done only as long as he's not with them. Now don't jump to a false conclusion ? I'm not engaged in that sport. But I have been able to meet with some important figures with no press awareness if I did so in the private quarters."It gets frustrating. A black family back here had a cross burned on their lawn. I visited them. I wanted to do it without press so they couldn't say (as they did) that I was doing it as an image building device. There was no way I could do it my way. We were a parade all the way."Now, a couple of the other points you made of a similar nature. Easter in the Barbados; I not only met with Seaga, I met with a dozen heads of state of Caribbean countries. We spent two afternoons swimming at Claudette's beach house. The press corps continues to refer to our four and sometimes five day vacation. H?l, we had two state dinners in addition to the meetings and a day and a half to ourselves."As for the sandbags and the Fort Wayne flood, I was in the West and on the way home when we decided to stop and see if we could give a morale boost. At one point where a levee was in danger of going out, a bunch of high school kids were sandbagging and had been there since dawn. They yelled to me to join them ? so I did. It was pretty hard on a dark suit, but I passed sandbags until we had to get back to the plane."But now let's get down to the real frustration ? the leaks. Doug, I've never seen anything like it and we're trying everything but a "plumbers squad" to find and clobber the guilty. I'm convinced they are down at a lower level and, yes, they are grinding their own axes with no regard for us or what we are trying to do. They are responsible for the stories of feuds and in-fighting which I assure you are untrue. The tax on unemployment insurance was a classic example. Down on a lower staff level someone was listing every possible option for reducing deficits. None of us up top had ever seen it. We read about it in the papers."But now let me show you what we're up against with the press. You saw the coast to coast fire storm ? Ronald Reagan wants to tax the unemployed. No one called first to ask if it was true. They never do.Doug, there is presently a tax (passed in the Carter days) on unemployment insurance for anyone with an income of $12,000 and up. More than that ? last August prominent Democratic Senators and Representatives introduced a bill to tax every dollar of unemployment insurance and everyone getting it. Not one mention of that in any news story."One more sample of what can only be a concerted campaign. A few weeks a
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President Theodore Roosevelt Writes Naturalist John Burroughs, Describing Hunting and the Behavior of Lynx and Bobcats

Roosevelt, Theodore He describes his previous hunts and relishes in the discussion, before turning his attention to the Panama Canal"In the course of many expeditions to, and much time spent in regions where our American lynxes of different kind were found ? both lucivees and bob cats ? and after puzzling over hundreds of their trails in the snow, and watching and sometimes shooting and hounding the animals, have never seen anything that remotely suggested courses of conduct like those.I must now return to Panama and kindred subjects and leave lucivees, bob cats, etc., for a year to come."No U.S. president is more popularly associated with nature and wildlife than is Theodore Roosevelt ? life-long naturalist, prodigious hunter, tireless adventurer, and visionary conservationist. As president, Roosevelt provided federal protection for almost 230 million acres of land, an area equivalent to the entire Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida. He initiated the U.S. Forest Service, and sat aside 150 national forests; he signed the Antiquities Act and pursuant to it created the first 18 national monuments, including the Grand Canyon and Muir Woods; an ardent ornithologist, he set up the first 51 federal bird reservations; he named five national parks, and added lands to a sixth ? Yosemite; by executive order he established the first four national game preserves, including the National Range; and the instituted first 24 reclamation, or federal irrigation, projects. As a naturalist crusader, TR's impact went far beyond the simple accomplishments; it resulted in changing the way people thought about the need to preserve America's natural treasures.Nature was Theodore Roosevelt's first passion. Long before he considered a career in politics, he had a fascination with the natural world and thought he would be a naturalist. His father, one of the founders of New York City's Natural History Museum, encouraged his son's curiosity. It was on a summer trip to the country that five year old TR began to hunt for plants and animals to study. At the age of seven, he began his career as a zoologist. As he recalled later, it all started when he was walking up Broadway and saw a dead seal which raised questions in the young boy's mind: Where had it been caught, how long was it, what species of seal was it? He managed to acquire the seal's skull, the first specimen in what he called the "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History."Roosevelt was a passionate naturalist and hunter. He loved the outdoors, and the thrill of tracking and chasing game, the skill in marksmanship, the careful and deliberate recording of his observations about each hunt, the demanding preservation of specimens, and the pleasure of capturing in rich and vibrant language this experience so that he could share it with the world. His two best known expeditions, Africa and South America, were both sponsored scientific expeditions that, in addition to affording TR an opportunity to hunt and obtain specimens for his own collection, gathered valuable natural history data for some of the world's most prominent museums, including the Smithsonian Institution. Roosevelt was well acquainted with the noted naturalists of the time, particularly John Burroughs. Burroughs contributed to the American understanding of nature through his large literary output, which included works about Henry David Thoreau, and his friend Walt Whitman, whom he admired. In April 1903, the two men toured Yellowstone Park together and Burroughs wrote about it in Camping and Tramping with Roosevelt, published in 1906. In planning the two-week trip to the park, he had written Burroughs, "For the last 18 months I have taken everything as it came, from coal strikes to trolley cars, and I feel I am entitled to a fortnight to myself." TR arrived in time to set the Roosevelt Arch's cornerstone in a grand ceremony. In 1907 Roosevelt publicly entered the nature-fakers controversy when he gave an interview and circulated an article defending Burroughs and stating his own views. Roosevelt esteemed Burroughs and called him Oom John (the Roosevelts were of Dutch extraction), an affectionate term meaning "uncle" in Dutch.Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, January 2, 1904, to Burroughs, beginning with the behavior of Lynxes. "Dear Oom John, Under exceptional and fortuitous circumstances two or three cats of any species might for the moment join in a common assault upon some prey. But in the course of many expeditions to, and much time spent in regions where our American lynxes of different kind were found ? both lucivees and bob cats ? and after puzzling over hundreds of their trails in the snow, and watching and sometimes shooting and hounding the animals, have never seen anything that remotely suggested courses of conduct like those Long describes. They do not hunt in bands; they hunt separately. They do not follow the trail of game as wolves and foxes do, though they may occasionally follow a fresh trail for a comparatively short distance. They occasionally why lie in wait, but they are much more apt to stalk their prey, rambling about through the woods until they see or smell it and then creeping up to it. I do not believe that a lynx or any other animal of the cat kind ever allured a caribou fawn or any other animal to its death in the way Long describes [in an article on the subject], and I have never seen or known of a trustworthy hunter who did see a party of lynxes act as he describes that party of lynxes acting as they crossed the country. However, I must now return to Panama and kindred subjects and leave lucivees, bob cats, etc., for a year to come."In November 1903, the The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, or Canal Treaty, was signed in the newly independent republic of Panama, giving the United States rights to build a canal on the Panamanian isthmus for an annual payment of $250,000. And in March 1904, TR would establish the Isthmian Canal Commission to see through the construction of the Panama C
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Winston Churchill, the Last of the Great Edwardians to Hold the Office of Prime Minister, Puts a Finishing Stroke to the Edwardian Age

Churchill, Winston "I am commanded by the King to convey to you hereby His Majesty's Thanks for the Loyal and Dutiful Resolution?on the occasion of the lamented death of His late Majesty King Edward the Seventh."The Edwardian Age (1901-1910) will always conjure up romance and nostalgia. It was a halcyon era of human progress that experienced tremendous technological change. The wonders of the modern world, new inventions which had only just sprang into being, brought the first rewards of modern industrialization and mass-produced abundance. People could now experience real mobility, taking steam rail journeys to any part of the country. It was a time where Britain was at its imperial height and one in three of the world's population were her subjects. To say Edwardian is to imagine opulence, luxuriance, balls, and lawn parties where the gents wore boaters, the ladies twirled parasols, and all of Britain basked in a long, sunlit afternoon, before the shattering reality of the First World War. On the other side of that war, after the trenches and millions of dead, it was seen as a Golden Age ? perhaps, with its excesses, as a Gilded Age.The Edwardian period is also noted as a time of great social and economic change. In politics, there was a growing political awareness of the working class, leading to a rise in trade unions, the Labor movement and demands for better working conditions. It was a critical time for the women's suffrage campaign, with Suffragettes leading a high profile campaign for women to be given the vote. Real changes resulted, life was better, and ah the tranquil sunny afternoons on the lawn ? before the terrible Guns of August 1914.Presiding over this moment was King Edward VII. He succeeded to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, on January 22, 1901, and was crowned on August 9, 1902. His reign did much to restore luster to a monarchy that had shone somewhat dimly during Victoria's long seclusion as a widow. In 1902 he resumed his tours of Europe. His geniality and felicitously worded addresses during a state visit to Paris in 1903 helped pave the way, by winning popularity among French citizens of all ranks, for the Anglo-French Alliance that lasted through two world wars. Edward also played an active role in encouraging military and naval reforms, and British preparedness. He died on May 6, 1910, aged 68, and was succeeded by King George V. Edward lay in state at Westminster Hall, where a quarter of a million people filed past his body. Crowned heads from all over Europe attended his funeral; it was, for many, like the Kaiser, to be their last hurrah before the downfall of royalty in the wake of the oncoming war. Theodore Roosevelt attended for the United States.Winston Churchill was born in 1874 and was by birth a Victorian. But his first leadership posts in government were as an Edwardian. He Undersecretary of State for the Colonies from 1906-08, President of the Board of Trade from 1908-February 1910, and then a major appointment as Home Secretary in February 1910. In this latter post he was a senior member of the Cabinet. Churchill had arrived. He would be the last powerful Edwardian to become Prime Minister.The Bilston District Provident Society was formed in 1849, and its object was "to provide for its members medical attendance, and a sick and funeral allowance." They paid disability and funeral expenses for miners and workingmen, thousands of them, until the National Insurance Act of 1911 created a system of national health insurance for industrial workers in Great Britain based on contributions from employers, the government, and the workers themselves.It was Churchill's responsibility as Home Secretary to issue the formal thanks on behalf of the Royal Family for condolences on Edward's death. Printed letter signed, on his engraved Home Office letterhead, Whitehall, London, June 14, 1910, writing on behalf of King George V and Edward's wife Queen Alexandra. "I am commanded by the King to convey to you hereby His Majesty's Thanks for the Loyal and Dutiful Resolution of the Members of the Willenhall branch of the Bilston District Provident Society on the occasion of the lamented death of His late Majesty King Edward the Seventh. I am to say that the expression of sympathy with Queen Alexandra has been laid before Her Majesty, who desired to communicate to you Her Thanks." It is signed by Churchill as Home Secretary. A search of public sale records shows it's been almost a decade since one of Churchill's condolence letters reached that marketplace.Thus did the last of the great Edwardians to hold the office of Prime Minister put a quietus ? a finishing stroke ? to the Edwardian Age.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Courts Republican Progressives in the 1936 Election

Roosevelt, Franklin D. A rare autograph letter as President with political content concerning one of FDR's presidential election campaignsSmith W. Brookhart was twice elected as a Republican to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate. He was a populist and a progressive of the Theodore Roosevelt stripe, and virtually dominated Iowa politics from 1920-1933. He was critical of Presidents Coolidge and Hoover as too controlled by big business and not interested enough in creating markets for farm products, so he was considered an "insurgent" within the Republican Party of the 1930's. After his last term ended in January 1933, he carried this campaign for farm markets into the New Deal when in 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him foreign trade advisor for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration. But New Deal agricultural policy went in the direction of production controls and Brookhart resigned from the AAA. This was of concern to Roosevelt because he worried that others in the farm belt who were former supporters might jump ship in the 1936 election and cost him the presidency.Brookhart was out of office in 1936 but still had strong influence in Iowa, which then as now was something of a swing state in presidential elections. In June 1936, Roosevelt was renominated by the Democrats and began campaigning for a second term. Although he would win in a landslide in November, the outcome was not so clear during the campaign. This was in part because polling was not very sophicated; the highly regarded Liberty Digest straw poll predicted a big Landon victory. FDR had great political instincts and intended to leave no stone unturned to achieve reelection. He saw the support of Brookhart as potentially very valuable, not just in Iowa but among other Republican progressives. However, it was not at all clear who Brookhart would favor. Certainly he disliked Hoover's policies, but he had quit FDR's AAA because of disagreements there. Roosevelt determined to court him.Roosevelt's Secretary of Agriculture was Henry A. Wallace of Iowa. Wallace and his father owned the extremely influential newspaper, Wallace's Farmer, and he had long known Brookhart. Richard Murphy was U.S. Senator from Iowa from 1933-July 16, 1936, when he was killed in a car accident.Autograph Letter Signed as President "FDR", no date but likely sometime between Roosevelt's renomination in June (when the arm-twisting would move from intra-party to a national scope) and Murphy's untimely death in July, to his Secretary of Agriculture, urgently ordering that something be done to bring Brookhart into the fold. "Secy. of Agric, Can we take care of Brookhart even as a temporary matter? Will you talk with Senator Murphy ? I think it is really politically important. FDR."Brookhart was taken care of and his courting was successful. On August 16, 1936, he announced that he would support Roosevelt in his reelection bid, and put forth a plan to unite diverse progressive elements under a new banner with FDR as its standard bearer. And in November, despite Roosevelt's nervousness about losing the farm belt, he again carried Iowa handily, as well as other states in the region.
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Beautiful and Uncommon Signed Photograph of John Kennedy as President, Inscribed to the Ubiquitous and Scandalous Couple, the Bradens

Kennedy, John F. As Jackie Kennedy once said, "That little freckle-faced girl [Joan Braden] does everything and goes everywhere and Jack and Bobby are forever asking her opinion."In 1941, Thomas Braden joined a select group of Americans who enlisted in the King's Royal Rifle Corps in the British Army. He then joined the Central Intelligence Agency and was for many years a covert agent on the front lines of the fight against Communism. He worked directly for CIA chief Allen Dulles. After he left the agency, he became first a newspaper owner, thanks to a $100,000 loan from friend Nelson Rockefeller, and then a journalist, who helped launch CNN's cross fire. His children inspired the well known ABC series, "Eight is Enough."His wife Joan, was, as the New York Times wrote in her obituary, "Hostess to a capital elite." She was a high aide to Nelson Rockefeller and worked on the campaigns of Robert and John Kennedy. Her rumored affairs were only thinly veiled and paramours included Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, among others. Her tell-all memoir was temporarily yanked from publication after Jackie Kennedy supposedly felt that some unseemly revelations touched the Kennedy family.This was the ultimate Washington family and Joan had the eyes and ears of both Bobby and Jack. As Jackie Kennedy once said, "That little freckle-faced girl does everything and goes everywhere and Jack and Bobby are forever asking her opinion."Signed Photograph, Sepia, as President, approximately 8 by 10 inches, with a lengthy inscription as President. "For Joan and Tom Braden, with appreciation and warm personal regards, John Kennedy."?This piece was acquired from the descendants of Joan and Tom Braden and has never before been offered for sale.
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President Abraham Lincoln Original Signed Proclamation Conveying the Coveted “Thanks of Congress” to the Commodore Whose Victory in 1861 Led to the First Raising of the U.S. Flag Over a Confederate Fortification in the Civil War

Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln lauds Silas Stringham's "distinguished service in the capture of Forts Hatteras and Clarke."In early 1861, the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army, General Winfield Scott, developed what he called the "Anaconda Plan," which aimed to squeeze the Confederacy by blockading its ports, launching amphibious attacks at key points along the Southern coast, and seizing control of vital inland waterways such as the Mississippi River. When the Civil War broke out, the U.S. government began to implement this plan.In the opening months of the war, there was little good news for the North, and the public clamor for a victory grew daily. Instead, on July 21, 1861, the Battle of Bull Run resulted in disaster for Union arms. Frustration built and the U.S. Government became increasingly anxious to show that it had a viable plan and could field forces capable of winning. In this heated atmosphere, in July and August, the U.S. Navy began to establish the blockade. To complement this effort, it determined to launch its first amphibious assault since the Mexican War: an assault on North Carolina's Outer Banks. This locale was chosen because the Union leadership saw the value of seizing control of the navigable channels into North Carolina sounds, as with these under control, U.S. forces would be in position to take key points on the Carolina mainland. These coastal strong-points then would serve as bases from which they could push inland to disrupt vital Confederate agricultural supply areas and the rail lines of communication running through the state to the Confederate capital of Richmond. Possession of these waters would also help eliminate the threat to U.S. shipping from rebel privateers ? a significant problem that threatened to grow and was already causing disruptions to trade as marine insurance rates in the north sky-rocketed.Hatteras Inlet commanded the entrance to North Carolina's sounds, leading Union commanders to decide to seize its surrounding shoreline first. General Benjamin Butler, who previously had commanded the Union garrison at Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, became the landing force commander. Commodore Silas Stringham, commander of the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, led the supporting naval forces. The task force Stringham commanded was the largest that the U.S. Navy had assembled up to that point in the war. It consisted of three steam frigates, three gunboats, and a converted sidewheel steamer, which all told mounted 149 guns, including modern, rifled naval guns. Rounding out the task force were two chartered vessels acting as troop transports and a collection of surfboats and auxiliary tugs. The transports and auxiliaries carried a landing force of two New York infantry regiments, for a total of slightly more than 900 men.The immediate objective of the operation was the capture of two forts ? Clarke and Hatteras ? that guarded Hatteras Inlet. These forts comprised a significant part of the Confederacy's military forces on the Outer Banks. On the morning of August 27, 1861, Confederate lookouts at Hatteras lighthouse spotted Commodore Stringham's ships on the horizon. Soon thereafter, the Union warships began bombarding both forts, pounding them with a steady stream of accurate fire. With the bombardment complete, the Union army troops came ashore. Soon Fort Clarke's garrison had retreated to Fort Hatteras, where the Confederates were reinforced and put up their defense. For a while, the advantage shifted to the southerners, as bad weather drove Stringham's ships out of firing range of the forts. But Union naval forces resumed their attack when the weather moderated the next morning, and by late morning the battered Southern troops had had enough, and Fort Hatteras surrendered. In the end, no Union ground attack was needed because of the success of the naval forces under Stringham. In fact, not a man on the Union side was killed.How happy was Lincoln to receive the news? General Butler, in his autobiography, described the meeting he and Gustavus Fox (Assistant Secretary of the Navy) had with Lincoln in the White House to tell him the news. "?The President was called and when our errand was hinted to him he immediately came in his night shirt. Everybody knows how tall Lincoln was, and he seemed very much taller in that garment; and Fox was about five feet nothing. In a few hurried words, not waiting for any forms or ceremonies, Fox communicated the news, and then he and Lincoln fell into each other's arms. That is, Fox put his arms around Lincoln about as high as his hips, and Lincoln reached down over him so that his arms were pretty near the floor apparently, and thus holding each other they flew around the room once or twice, and the night shirt was completely agitated." The victory provided a much-needed boost to northern spirits and enabled the people to see that the Lincoln Administration's plan to fight the war had substance and could bring victories. As such its political value exceeded its considerable military value. On the military side, the Hatteras expedition demonstrated the central importance of naval fire support to amphibious operations. Additionally, Stringham innovated by having his ships fire while on the move, rather than anchoring and slugging it out with nearby shore batteries as navies had done in the past. This made the defenders' task more difficult, while not affecting the Union warships' ability to put their ordnance on target. Stringham's brilliant tactic was used extensively throughout the war by the U.S. Navy, especially in taking control of the Mississippi River. Stringham was promoted from Commodore to Real Admiral.On July 11, 1862, President Lincoln, demonstrating his appreciation of the role Commodore Stringham had played in the struggle for the Union, wrote to the legislative branch recommending that he be awarded the coveted Thanks of Congress. "I recommend?Silas H. Stringham, now on the retired list, for distinguished services in the capture
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Codicil of John Cutt, First President of Colonial New Hampshire, Showing Him Trying to Promote Harmony Within His Family After His Death

Cutt, John An extraordinary rarity: a 17th century document signed by a major figure of New England; the first we've obtained in 30 yearsCutt, one of the wealthiest men in the Colony, was balancing between providing for his second wife, while satisfying his children, who were all by his first wifeJohn Cutt was born in the British Isles and emigrated to the colonies in 1646, He became a successful merchant and mill owner in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and acquired a large fortune, at the time of his death being rated as one of the wealthiest men in the province. He was married to Hannah Starr, daughter of Dr. Comfort Starr, a founder of Harvard College, and by her had five children. She died in 1674, and Cutt remarried a woman named Ursula, and there were no children by this marriage.In 1679. King Charles II issued a commission separating the territory of New Hampshire from Massachusetts Bay Colony and directing that a new government be organized. The King appointed a President and Council from the 4,000 settlers of the seacoast area and required that they take office by January 21, 1680. John Cutt became the first President of this government, being the head of the seven-member royal provincial council. This was a position analogous to governor. Soon after his appointment he fell ill. On March 1, 1681 the provincial Council and General Assembly designated March 17, 1681, "A day of public fasting and prayer." The Council and Assembly believed Cutt's illness and the recent sighting of a comet were signs of "divine displeasure." The day of fasting and prayer was unsuccessful, as John Cutt died on March 27, 1681.Cutt made a last will and testament on May 6, 1680, and in it he tried to deal with a complication: a second wife, and all his children by the first wife. How could he guarantee her comfort, while yet making sure his children were satisfied? How could he promote harmony when he was gone? So Section 7 of the will was designed to make sure his widow was adequately cared for from the monies provided his children. It stated in part: "Provided always that I give & bequeath unto my beloved wife Ursula Cutt the full Sum of five hundred pounds to be taken out of ye portion which I have given to my Son's John & Sam & to my daughter Hanna, each of them to pay their proportion of the Said five hundred pounds according to ye quantity of Goods that falls to their Share?Moreover I will that my beloved wife shall have liberty to dwell in my house till my Son John come to age or Marry if She continue a widdow whom I request to have respect to my Children & be a mother to them. If my Son John Marry while my wife Continues a Widdow she shall have the use of a Couple of rooms in the house such as shall be Judged most convenient by my Execut & Overseers together & may be comfortable for her accommodation. Or she shall have liberty to build an house upon that piece of land which she hath lately taken in as an addition to ye Orchard & may therein dwell during her Widdowhood & when she leaves it my Son John shall have it?" 500 pounds was a huge sum in those days, enough to keep his widow living in comfort.But as Cutt became more ill in early 1681, and his fortune was reduced accordingly, he became concerned that 500 pounds was too much considering, and might create hard feelings within the family. He decided to reduce the amount to a sum more in keeping with his present assets. So he made a codicil to the will that became in fact his last will disposing of his assets. Manuscript document signed, Portsmouth, NH, January 3, 1680/81 (1681 in our calendar). "As an explication with Some alteration of the Seventh article in my aforementioned last will & Testament in the foregoeing folio bearing date the 6 of May 1680, I annexe what hereafter followes to Say that whereas I have in said article given five hundred pounds to my beloved wife Ursula Cutt upon Consideration of the great wasting of my Estate by reason of long Sicknesse & other late providences attending me, I doe hereby will that the Sum which I bequeath unto her my wife aforesaid shall be but four hundred pounds payable in manner as is in Said Article Expressd & withall I give this as my meaning in Said article that the said Sum of four hundred pounds is in lieu of what She my Said wife would or might have expected on the Acc of writ of Dowry or thirds of my Estate or any other way by vertue of any law in Old England or New, & She shall renounce all other her interest in or claim to any part of my estate or else shall not receive any part or whole of this four hundred Pounds that I have here bequeathed her, leaveing her to her choice which of the two she will take either the thirds of my house & land dureing her life time or this four hundred pounds & I do hereby will & declare that this schedule here annexed is & shal bee my last will & testament anything in my will aforesaid to ye Contrary Notwithstanding. As Witnesse my hand & seal this third day of January one thousand six hundred & Eighty [1681]." Cutts signature is somewhat damaged but the document is overall in fine condition.This codicil was witnessed by Richard Waldron, who succeeded Cutt and became second president of the Council, and Joshua Moodey, who was Portsmouth's foremost minister. Below that is a statement in the hand of the Colonial Recorder and Council member, Elias Stileman, dated April 9, 1681, certifying that Waldron, Moody, and other witnesses had appeared before him and testified that they personally saw Cutt sign and seal this document.On the verso appear two dockets. The top one reads: "The last will and testament of Mr. John Cutt [was] 6th May 1680." The lower one states that this was "Brought before secretary of ye Council", verified by witnesses, and recorded on April 19, 1681, just after Cutt's death. It appears in the probate records of the Province of New Hampshire.It is hard to express the extraordinary rarity of this document. When we started in this field in the mid-1980s, you wo
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General George Washington Signs a Discharge for a Member of Lamb’s Famed Continental Artillery

Washington, George The unit was with Washington at Valley Forge, and played an important role in the victory at YorktownColonel John Lamb commanded the most legendary artillery unit in the Continental Army. Initially known as Lamb's New York Artillery and later as the 2nd or New York Regiment of Continental Artillery, it served in the abortive campaign into Canada in 1775-6. In 1777 it participated in the battles of Brandywine, Freeman's Farm, and Germantown, and then went into the encampment at Valley Forge. In 1778 it was at Monmouth and the Morristown encampment, and in 1779 was sent on Sullivan's Indian Campaign. The unit was at West Point when Benedict Arnold fled and the next year participated in the New Jersey Summer Campaign. But it is best remembered for, and has a famed re-enactor regiment because of, the part it played at Yorktown. There, utilizing siege cannon, seasoned American gunners and professional French artillerists fired over 15,000 rounds into British lines during the nine day bombardment. Their effectiveness, accuracy, and destructiveness helped convince Britain's Lord Cornwallis to surrender. A favorite unit of General Henry Knox, chief of artillery for the Continental army, General George Washington issued a General Order relaying his thanks and appreciation to Lamb's 2nd Continental Artillery.Hugh Polley was a stalwart of the unit, enlisting in Lamb's regiment in 1777, and serving until he was discharged in 1783. His records appear in the "Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War". Thus he was with Lamb for some six years, seeing the American cause from its darkest days through to victory.Document Signed, Head-Quarters, June 9, 1783, being Polley's discharge. It states: "By His Excellency George Washington, Esq; General and Commander in Chief of the Forces of the United States of America. These are to Certify that the Bearer hereof Hugh Polley, gunner in the 2nd New York Artillery, having faithfully served the United States from 29 July 1777, until the present period, and being inlisted for the War only, is hereby Discharged from the American Army." It is also endorsed by Washington's aide, Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., and by James Bradford, adjutant, indicating that the document was "Registered in the Books of the Regiment".The story is that Washington signed these discharges himself because he wanted each soldier of the Continental Army to know that he was personally grateful for his service. Many of the discharged soldiers carried these precious discharges around with them, and those that reach the market are often in poor condition. This is in good condition, and bears a strong signature.On the top of the verso is the printed statement that "The Certificate shall not avail the Bearer as a Discharge until the Ratification of the definitive Treaty of Peace; previous to which time; and until Proclamation thereof shall be made, He is considered as being on Furlough." Below Washington's printed signature, are details of a transaction wherein Polley transfer his right to land due him for his service. "For value received of William Bell, I hereby make over and grant?unto the said William Bell his heirs and executors my right and claim on the public for 600 acres of land? on this the 16th day of March 1784." Polley has signed with an X. The state of New York had guaranteed every fighting man in the Revolution a bounty of acreage of public land.This document is dated June 9, 1783. On December 23, 1783, General Washington himself resigned his commission and left for home. The American Revolution was over.
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George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Implement the Judiciary Act of 1789, Appointing One of the Original 16 U.S. Marshals To Administer Justice in the New Nation

Washington, George and Jefferson, Thomas A rare consequential appointment signed by both menOur research discloses no other original Marshal's appointment having reached the marketThe Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, a number of steps were required for it to become the law of the land. It first had to be reviewed and voted upon by the Continental Congress sitting under the Articles of Confederation; this was done and Congress approved. Then it had to be submitted to the 13 states; the approval of nine states was needed for it to come into effect. In the few months before 1787 was up, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey ratified the Constitution. By February 1788 Georgia, Connecticut and Massachusetts had. That made 6. The next group of states ? Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and New York ? ratified in the April-July 1788 time frame. So then there were 11 states, more the the 9 required, and the Constitution came into effect. But Rhode Island had feared all along the idea of an authoritarian Federal government and failed to attend the Constitutional Convention, and now she and North Carolina were concerned that the Constitution contained no Bill of Rights to protect individual freedoms; they held out all through 1788. When the United States Government was established in March-April 1789, they took no part and were not represented. But a Bill of Rights was introduced in Congress by James Madison, and it passed Congress and was sent to the states on September 25, 1789. So satisfied with that result and under pressure from neighbors Virginia and South Carolina, North Carolina held a convention and ratified the Constitution in November 1789. Now just Rhode Island held out.By March 10, 1790, 8 states had ratified the Bill of Rights amendments, which was not enough for the Amendments to become part of the Constitution. The vote of Rhode Island could make the difference between their passage or failure. Moreover, it was becoming increasingly untenable for the state to carry on as a sole hold-out, and there was talk of the U.S. treating Rhode Island trade as foreign trade and imposing tariffs if it remained outside the Union. Rhode Island is a maritme state, and trade was its life blood; a tariff against it could have devastating results. These were all powerful considerations, and on May 29, 1790, Rhode Island ratified the Constitution of the United States, becoming the last of the original 13 states (and indeed colonies) to do so. Just 8 days later it ratified the Bill of Rights.Washington considered the several offices created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 of premier importance to the new nation. "Impressed with a conviction that the due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good Government," he wrote Attorney General Edmund Randolph on September 28, four days after signing the Act into law, "I have considered the first arrangement of the Judicial department as essential to the happiness of our Country, and to the stability of its political system; hence the selection of the fittest characters to expound the laws, and dispense justice, has been an invariable object of my anxious concern." The Supreme Court Justices, the Attorney General, the district court judges and attorneys, the court clerks, and the United States Marshals would define, administer, and enforce the growing body of federal laws. By their actions, these men would determine the boundary between federal authority and local autonomy.During Washington's first administration, Congress created 16 judicial Districts. Each state constituted one judicial District, except Massachusetts which was divided into the Districts of Massachusetts and Maine. In addition, Vermont and Kentucky, which did not enter the union as a state until 1791 and 1792 respectively, were two of the original judicial Districts. Thus, each state had one original Marshal to administer justice locally.William Peck had fought valiantly in the Revolutionary War, having served as major and aidedecamp to Maj. Gen. Joseph Spenser, and then Deputy Adjutant General of the Eastern Department of the Continental Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel. In February 1790, anticipating that Rhode Island would vote to join the Union, Peck wrote to President Washington, asking for the job of Customs Officer. He sent the President a resume justifying his suitability for the position. Washington, who also received letters of recommendation for Peck, chose instead to make him Marshal, the first US Marshal for Rhode Island and the last of the original 16, a position he filled in July, 1790, immediately after his state's the ratification of the Constitution, and would hold for 20 years. Peck would be the longest serving of the original 16.Document signed by both George Washington as President and Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, New York, July 3, 1790, being Washington and Jefferson's appointment of Peck as the first US Marshal for Rhode Island. It reads in part, "Know ye that reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity, ability, and diligence of William Peck of Rhode Island, Esquire, I have nominated and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate do appoint him Marshall of and for Rhode Island District, and do authorize and empower him to execute and fulfill the duties of that office."Documents of importance signed by both Washington and Jefferson are rare, and those of any kind increasingly uncommon.
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Napoleon Escalates Efforts to Obtain the Parthenon Marbles, Arresting Lord Elgin’s Agent in the Acquisition of Those Antiquities and Many Others

Bonaparte, Napoleon We have never seen another letter of Napoleon relating to his quest to acquire classical antiquitiesThe hunt for antiquities by Napoleon was intense and worldwide. At one point, Napoleon held the jewels of the Egyptian Empire, symbolized by the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. But works of art were for him trophies of his conquests and he sought to bring these global treasures to the Louvre.There is one treasure that Napoleon tried to get but did not: the Elgin Marbles, the great sculptures that adorned the Parthenon. There were a large collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures made under the supervision of the architect and sculptor Phidias and his assistants in Ancient Greece. From 1801 to 1812, agents of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain. The ongoing war between Britain and France interrupted and challenged the transport of these antiques.When the French and Turks (who had power in Greece) became friends again it became important for the British to get the Parthenon marbles out of Greece as quickly as possible. Lord Elgin tried to buy a big ship but was unsuccessful and even though he was able to hire several smaller ones the crates were piling up faster then they could export them. To add to his problems his own ship, the HMS Mentor with seventeen cases on board, including some of the finest sections from the Parthenon freize, sank in a storm at the entrance to the harbor of Kythera. With fifty cases still in Piraeus it seemed like half of Elgin's treasure would have to be left behind. Then on Christmas Eve in 1802 the HMS Braakel ran aground outside Pireaus.To handle many of these challenges, Elgin sent his right man and chaplain, Phillip Hunt, who, after the wrecking of the ship carrying the marbles, appeared with a small army of Greeks and Albanians and rescued the ship. These made it back to England. It was to Hunt and William Richard Hamilton, his private secretary, that Elgin gave the primary task of collecting antiquities.The Treaty of Amiens temporarily ended hostilities between France and Britain. It was signed in the city of Amiens on March 25, 1802 by Joseph Bonaparte and Marquess Cornwallis as a "Definitive Treaty of Peace." This peace lasted only one year until May 18, 1803, and was the only period of general peace in Europe between 1793 and 1814.After the end of this treaty, Napoleon vowed to arrest English citizens traveling through his dominion. But he did so with strategy. In 1803, he arrested Lord Elgin and held him until 1806, with the goal of getting him to give the Emperor his collection. Elgin claimed afterward that he could have obtained his liberty and named any price should he sell to Napoleon his collection of antiques.Elgin and Hunt had separated in 1803, and Hunt was compiling information to later write a memoir of the hunt for antiques. And when Hunt entered French territory, or Napoleon realized he had, Napoleon expanded his effort to get the Marbles and other antiques.Letter signed, St. Cloud, May 8, 1804, to Minister of War Marshall Berthier. "My intention, Citizen Minister, is that Mr. Hunt, anglican minister attached to Lord Elgin at Orleans, be arrested and conducted under secure escort to Fort Bitche, where he will be handed over to the Commander."That this arrest was made at the highest level attests to its importance to Napoleon. We have never seen another letter of Napoleon relating to his quest to acquire classical antiquities.
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John Quincy Adams Presciently Foretells: Slavery Will End in the United States and Throughout the World

Adams, John Q. In the last months of his life, the nation's foremost opponent of slavery states that he will not live to see it"I trust it is the future destiny of our Country to accomplish the glorious prophecy of improvement in the condition of Man and the total abolition of Slavery throughout the whole Human race."He quotes the Roman author Virgil, writing, "A great order of the ages is born afresh / great eras begin."Until the Civil War era, the anti-slavery cause in the United States had no more influential and powerful political advocate than John Quincy Adams. In 1831, after his presidency, John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives where he became known for his passionate anti-slavery advocacy. In 1836, Southern members of Congress got the House to pass a "gag rule" that forbade discussion of slavery in the House of Representatives. Adams fought tirelessly against the gag rule, and in 1844 he finally succeeded in getting it abolished, by a vote of 108 to 80. While the gag rule continued, Adams refused to honor it, finding parliamentary loopholes that allowed him to evade and ignore the ban. His actions (and attempts by others to quiet him) raised questions over the right to hold legislative debates, freedom of speech, and also about the morality of slavery itself. In 1842, Southern members sought to censure him for having spoken out against slavery in the face of a gag rule, but that motion was tabled and killed. During the debate over the censure, Adams said he took delight in the fact that Southerners would forever remember him as "the acutest, the astutest, the archest enemy of Southern slavery that ever existed."In the 1841 U.S. Supreme Court case United States v. The Amistad, Adams took the political risk of representing Africans charged for their rebellion on the Spanish ship, La Amistad. Around 50 Africans had been kidnapped and transported from Africa to Cuba, where two Spaniards took over and intended to sell them into slavery in America. During the journey, they broke free and killed several crew members, took over the ship, and demanded to sail back to Africa. Instead, the crew took them to New England, where they were jailed. Adams argued before the Supreme Court that that their rebellion was justified; the kidnapped men had the right to fight for their freedom, just as Americans fought for theirs, because every person has the right to be free. The Supreme Court agreed and Adams won the case, providing a landmark legal precedent in the advancement of universal rights.Letter signed, Quincy, Mass., June 18, 1847, to Massachusetts Representative Julius Rockwell, a political ally, who would later serve in the Senate and on the Massachusetts Superior Court. "I offer you my warmest thanks for your kind letter of the 14th instance. I remained in Washington with my family from the close of the last Congress to the first day of this month, at which time we left that city, and by steamboat and railway, safely reached home on Saturday the 5th. My health has been slowly improving and leaves me some hope of returning to the seat of Government, at the meeting of the 30th Congress next December. Whether it will continue to improve so as to enable me to take an active part in the public deliberations is a more doubtful and more than I dare flatter myself with at present. Were the unimpaired rigor of youth still mine I might hope to devote it at least with ardor to the cause of our Country and of Freedom. A cause needing sacrifices more trying to the Soul, and of deeper devotion than have ever before occurred in our History or in that of the World."Adams then quoted two lines in Latin from the fourth Eclogue by Virgil: "Magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo, Incipient magni procedere menses" which means "A great order of the ages is born afresh / great eras begin." He continues, "The mighty years have begun' and I trust it is the future destiny of our Country to accomplish the glorious prophecy of improvement in the condition of Man and the total abolition of Slavery throughout the whole Human race."That consummation is not to bliss my eyes, nor to delight my ears in my present state of existence. May you live to welcome its approach and contribute to its advancement."In all our years in this field, we have never handled a more important letter of Adams on slavery, and have only seen a small handful comparable in quality.
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In the Wake of the Challenger Disaster, President Ronald Reagan Says There Are Problems With the Space Shuttle Program That Must Be Fixed for It to Proceed

Reagan, Ronald He finesses the situation, trying not to disappoint a friend who was part of the civilians in space program, a program that would be canceled because of Challenger"We do have some problems?Now, of course, we've had the recent finding by Jim that the existing shuttles have 44 things that need correcting before they fly again?Let me say that I'm for going ahead with a shuttle unless the things I've mentioned here make it impractical and unwise."The space shuttle Challenger became the second shuttle to reach space, when it was launched successfully in April 1983. It successfully completed nine milestone missions during its nearly three years of service. In total, the spacecraft spent 62 days, 7 hours, 56 minutes and 22 seconds in space. Challenger hosted the first spacewalk of the space shuttle program on April 7, 1983, and carried the first American female and first black astronauts.Before it was launched again, NASA created an initiative to give people from all walks of life a chance to experience spaceflight firsthand. The first such civilian was Christa McAuliffe, a teacher, who had been selected from 11,000 teacher applicants for the historic chance. It was a cold morning on Jan. 28, 1986, when Challenger was supposed to fly into space on its latest mission. Temperatures dipped below freezing and some of the shuttle's engineers were concerned about the integrity of the seals on the solid rocket boosters in such low temperatures. Nonetheless, Challenger launched at 11:38 a.m. Eastern time in front of more media attention than usual, since it was carrying McAuliffe, who was planning to give lessons while in orbit. But McAuliffe and the rest of the crew never made it. In full view of the television cameras, Challenger broke up 73 seconds after launch."Flight controllers here are looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction," the NASA launch commentator said, as pieces of the shuttle fell from the sky into the Atlantic. Salvage crews spent several weeks recovering pieces of the shuttle and carefully bringing up the remains of the seven astronauts. Remains that could be identified were turned over to the families, while the rest were buried in a monument to the Challenger crew at Arlington National Cemetery on May 20, 1986.Challenger's explosion changed ? one might say devastated ? the space shuttle program in several ways. Plans to fly civilians in space (such as teachers or journalists) were shelved for the next 22 years, until Barbara Morgan, who was McAuliffe's backup, flew aboard Endeavour in 2007. Satellite launches were shifted from the shuttle to reusable rockets. Additionally, astronauts were pulled off duties such as repairing satellites, and the Manned Maneuvering Unit was not flown again, to better preserve astronaut safety.Douglas Morrow was a Hollywood screenwriter and film producer. He earned an Academy Award for his script for 1949's The Stratton Story, a biography of Baseball player Monty Stratton, who was disabled in a hunting accident. Reagan, who catapulted to fame as an actor, became friends with Morrow when Morrow sought to cast him in that part, remained friends throughout the Hollywood days and kept in contact through most of his presidency. Morrow was a part of the civilians in space program, and he was not about to let the Challenger disaster defeat him. He wrote to Reagan asking for a commitment and timetable for continuing it.Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, Washington, May 29, 1986, to Morrow, with Reagan being non-committal, knowing or expecting the program might be shelved, but wanting to let his old friend down easy. "Just a quick line to answer your May 21st letter. I can't give you a specific reply on the new shuttle but can tell you my desire is to go forward if it is at all possible?Our plate is really full right now, what with tax reform, budget, Saudi Arabia and Nicaragua. And, of course, NASA. I think things will begin to move with Jim Fletcher [a previous NASA administrator who was brought back to lead the Challenger investigation] on board. We do have some problems, the financial one of course, but a number of others such as the backlog of various machines to be put in space. We've only been able to touch on that and whether a spurt in non?manned launchers should be used to reduce the backlog. Now, of course, we've had the recent finding by Jim that the existing shuttles have 44 things that need correcting before they fly again."The upshot, Doug, is that we haven't come together to make a final decision yet, but such a meeting is on the schedule. Again, let me say that I'm for going ahead with a shuttle unless the things I've mentioned here make it impractical and unwise. I'll keep you posted."The Challenger disaster was one of the milestone's of Reagan's presidency. His famous eulogy for the Challenger astronauts is considered by many his greatest speech in office. He ended by saying, "The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ?slipped the surly bonds of earth' to ?touch the face of God.'"In actuality, though, Challenger's explosion devastated the space shuttle program in several ways. Plans to fly civilians in space (such as teachers or journalists) were shelved for the next 22 years, until Barbara Morgan, who was McAuliffe's backup, flew aboard Endeavour in 2007. Satellite launches were shifted from the shuttle to reusable rockets. Additionally, astronauts were pulled off duties such as repairing satellites, and the Manned Maneuvering Unit was not flown again, to better preserve astronaut safety. Morrow never did get into space.