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Historical Letters
 
 
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Lot 353

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1836 Fiery John Calhoun Speech Letter, extremely interesting 3+ page letter with detailed description of a visit to Congress, Feb. 17, 1836, during Jackson Presidency, written to Dr. Elisha Bartlett, prominent medical Dr. and Professor, member of Mass House., in part: "I attended debates in the House on Monday, and there was more confusion, calls to order, stupid & silly speeches on points of order and gross personalities than I have ever witnessed in the Mass. H.R. in my life. There are undoubtedly men of talents in the Van Buren party in the House, but as a body they are a very light concern. The speaker appears to be a pretty fair sort of man, but you have no idea of the utter contempt that is manifest towards him by many of the members of the opposition party. On Monday, Mr. Wise of Virginia, in the course of a debate on a motion not to receive an Anti-slavery memorial, made a…furious attack the administration. There was not much eloquence or ability displayed on the occasion, but it was evident that the whole Southern feeling was aroused…I spent yesterday & today… in the Senate Chamber. There sits Van Buren with his whiskers primed up, … Clay looks noble, but mournful & disconsolate. Calhoun looks like a tiger just ready to break loose, and to devour everything in his way. Yesterday, Mr. Buchanan of Pennsylvania moved that each Senator might be permitted to introduce three ladies on the floor of the Senate Chamber. This was opposed by several members…Mr. Calhoun advocated the motion…Mr. Wright made some reply which I did not hear. Calhoun, upon this, rose in considerable agitation, & addressing himself to the Vice President, said 'Sir, I meant to be understood that there is now a great contest between the advocates of arbitrary power. My letters are opened before I receive them. This is the only avenue we have to the ears of the people. For God's sake let us extend this little accommodation as far as we can, to those who have come up from the remote parts of the country.' But he came out today still more furiously, on the resolution relating to the appropriation of the surplus of the treasury for the defence of the country. His manner is abrupt, his articulation rather indistinct. 'There is a storm ahead, Sir. I see it. The South are becoming united. They put Gen. Jackson into office. They couldn't put him out, for they were divided. Gen. Jackson was bold, courageous, he had done the state some service, but he was audacious, he did not keep his word. He has nominated his successor. He had a good deal of the lion and the tiger in him. His nominee has none of the lion or the tiger. He belongs to a different class of animals, to the fox, to the weasel. We of the South put down the last administration. We did it up in fine style. We put Gen. Jackson in, but we shall not put in his nominee. We shall put him out We shall do it, Sir.'…The galleries were crowded and the most perfect stillness prevailed. The Van Buren men looked blank & say that such things ought not to be tolerated. But I think it is fine sport", City of Washington cds with ms 25, very minor separations on letter, some staining on address panel, otherwise Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $300-400.
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Current Bid
$220
Lot 354

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1833 Political Letter by Washington Insider Duff Green, 3 page ALS from Duff Green, a member of Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet" splitting from him in 1830 in support of Calhoun and later, Clay, strong States Rights advocate, sent to Charles Wickliffe, KY. Congressman (later PMG), July 8, 1833, content incl. opinions of Van Buren and how to elect a President in 1836, marked "Confidential," letter states in part: "The President's late trip to the north was a failure. Van Buren found it was for Webster's benefit and he was compelled to beat a retreat. Van is…disappointed in this move…He relies on party discipline and public patronage. His presses are out for a National Convention of the party & and he proposes to delay a meeting of that convention until the spring of 1836. The party must first be consolidated and pledged to act together. When that is done the entire patronage of the Government will to bring a majority into it who will nominate Mr. Van Buren. To consent to such a movement would be to ratify Mr. Van Buren's election and to place the power of appointing his successor in the hands of the President…The argument which will be urged in favor of a surrender of the choice of President into the hands of such a convention will be the objection to an election by the House. A National Convention is one step nearer to the people than the House of Representatives. How are we to deprive Mr. Van Buren of this appeal to the popular feeling? I propose to do this by going one step nearer to the people, or…go to the people themselves. I would amend the Constitution, limit the service to one term, give the choice to the people without Electors and in the case of no choice, I would send the two highest back for a second trial…The advantage to the South is that it gives them the control of the Election, and secure the South against the attempt to agitate the question of Slavery. If it is distinctly understood that the agitation of that question will deprive the candidate who my be in favor of Emancipation, of the vote of the South, it will always rally in our favor a strong northern interest, and having the Constitutional argument in our favor, we may promise ourselves quiet", much more, City of Washington cds and Free handstamp, small edge tears, stains on address panel, Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $300-400.
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$190
Lot 355

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, Undated Letter to James Buchanan, V.E. Piollet, a prominent Pa. farmer, writes to Buchanan early in the Administration concerning problems at home because of patronage distribution, incl. transmittal envelope addressed to Buchanan, privately carried letter, in part: "After mailing the line which I wrote you from Phila, I saw James Reynolds of Lancaster and H. S Morgan State Treasurer. These men operate most powerfully upon Col Forney without doubt (judging from what they said to me). You will not thank me, perhaps for my pains taking, yet I again repeat what I attempted to say from Phila - bring Col Forney within your control and influence at once, this you can do if you so will. There are so many old friends that will be called upon to take sides if these should come to be an open quarrel between two such gentlemen as the President and this excitable genius of the "Prey" God spare me from this, and you will I humbly trust - Reynolds is very bitter toward you, and quarreled with me, when I contended that you were true and your heart towards "old friends" - bitterness seems in ratio, with former partiality. H. S. M. is of the opinion that you have discarded all old friends, for the ___ of old ___. Much activity is manifested in different quarters to fasten the belief upon the mind of public that you are intent upon thwarting fair and honest purposes undertaken by men that have stood your friend in all the past. So long as Col Forney stands before the public unrewarded by you - the malevolent - the mischief makers and in fact every man that is in his heart disappointed will surround Forney and goad him on until open rupture result. This is my judgment - the cause of my honest appeal to you for prompt action", small tears in envelope not affecting address, Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $300-400.
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$190
Lot 356

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1853 Anti-Buchanan, 3 page signed ALS with great political content, Wilkes Barre, Pa Jan 6, 1853, letter from Andrew Beaumont to Reah Frazer discussing a meeting with Pierce and dislike of Buchanan, both influential Pennsylvania politicians, Frazer had been, until the election of 1848, a principal supporter of Buchanan, Congressman Beaumont died within 9 months of this letter so did not see Buchanan become President, much good content including: "… my visiting Mr. Pierce, or opening a correspondence with him… might possibly have some effect in averting the greatest calamity we all apprehended could befall the democratic cause of Penna; the logement of Jas Buchanan or some of his creatures in Mr. Pierce's cabinet… I concluded that a visit by me to Mr. Pierce would bring upon my devoted head, a general discharge from the whole battery of Buchanan's retainers… a very innocent expression by the late Mr. Polk, of kindness and confidence… drew upon my head the whole might of his, Buchanan's, official malignity and power… Go to Washington. Beat back the accursed horde of hypocrites and political free-booters, who will besiege the President", clear Wilkes Barre cds and Paid 3 in oval, ms "If gone to Washington City PM will please forward this from Lancaster", Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $300-400.
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$190
Lot 357

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1857 John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, Buchanan's Sec. of War, in favor of secession, he resigned and returned to VA, appointed as Brigadier General in Confederate Army, 3-page ALS and cover in his hand, franked "Free/JB Floyd", sent to Anna Cora Ritchie (Mowatt), famous author and actress, written Mar. 17, 1857, shortly after his appointment, the latter voices his Southern sentiments: "it will give me the greatest pleasure to carry out the idea of Mr. Smith's letter of sustaining those gallant men who at the North sustain the constitution, so far as my limited influence might extend. I am perfectly certain that whatever may be the action of the President…, it will be characterized by a scrupulous regard for the rights of the South & a proper maintenance of all those who at the North fearlessly sustain the Constitution and the true principles of democracy", tiny tear at top of cover with small stains, Fine to Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $250-325.
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Current Bid
$170
Lot 358

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1829 James Buchanan, datelined Aug. 6, 1829, from Lancaster, PA to Meadville, PA., 2 page letter in Buchanan's hand to Charles Yates, his brother-in-law, concerning a real estate transaction, Lanc. Pa, Aug 7 cds on address panel with 37½ ms. rate marking, bottom of letter and address sheet detached but does not impact signature or address.
Estimate $250-350.
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Current Bid
$150
Lot 359

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, William Henry Harrison, 1839 Letter From Whig Convention, first day of national Whig convention which nominated Harrison, Harrisburg, December 4, 1839, Free Franked by a postmaster delegate, excellent content describing his trip and the first day of the convention: "…arriving on Monday we…we were able to secure good lodgings which afterwards became more difficult as the company increased…We found yesterday the friends of the two candidates, Clay and Harrison, very active. Gen. Scott's friends being mostly confined…got a cat. for Clay and for Harrison, and we conferred with the Delegations from several of the States, especially Pennsylvania and Ohio, who are Harrison's friends and our conclusion is that Harrison's chance is best…Today we met at 12A.M. The Convention after holding a conference this morning among ourselves and proceeded to an organization of the Convention, but did not get thru before adjournment to tomorrow…The Convention in point of talent and respectability was probably never surpassed by any Convention in this Country. The great Mr. Leigh and Gov. Barbour of VA. (presided over the convention) quite a number of ex-Governors from different States, ex-Senators and ex-Members of Congress…", Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $180-270.
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$120
Lot 360

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1838 Slavery Petition, Free Frank of William Potter, Pa. Congressman on Jan. 10, 1838 letter explaining his vote against John Patton's (great-grandfather of Gen. George Patton) slavery petition: "I received your letter of the 5th Jan and can only say you do not go as far as I do for Southern Rights, as I am of opinion Congress has no constitutional right to touch slavery in the states or in the District of Columbia. And no right to receive petitions asking for the doing of any unconstitutional act yet could not vote for Mr Pattons resolution. 1st. Because I firmly believe that the constitution guarantees to the citizens of the territories of the United States who are under the sole legislation and control of Congress the right of petition and - and consideration of their petition on the abolition of slavery or the prevention of its introduction. And as this right was impinged by the resolution I could not in conscience vote for it. 2 Because I from my soul detest acting on compulsion and could not swallow Southern dictation and the Gag Law", some small separations on letter, Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $160-200.
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$100
Lot 361

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1844 Great Flood of 1844 Clarksville, Arkansas, Clarksville, Arks ms, June 10 (1844) on wonderful 3 page newsy letter describing the aftermath of the 1844 flood and speculation on the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1844 "Our river continued to rise till yesterday…great damage has been sustained by it crops, fences and the loss of stock, besides the total destruction of the soil for all time, in many of the bottom lands where nothing but a deposit of white sand is left to the depth of two & three feet…We have had little communication with other portions of the State owing to high water, but what little we have had is of a flattering character for the triumph of the Wig cause - I think we are certain of Walker for Congress, and Gibson is gaining ground for Governor…I shall not be surprised if the Whig electoral ticket prevails, even in this State, the most incorrigible of all the loco foco world. The Democrats have repudiated & denounced Van Buren to a man since his opposition to the annexation of Texas…Should he…be the nominee…confusion will burst through all their ranks, some will call for Cass, some for Johnson, Some for Buchanan & it will be too late to harmonize and unite. Ergo many of the most reflecting and moderate among them will take refuge under the only true republican banner with Clay for their leader", two small pieces torn away at wax seal not affecting content or address panel, Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $160-220.
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$100
Lot 362

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1845 Choices For Polk's Cabinet, outstanding letter with interesting political content, 2 page ALS from James Porter (appointed by Pres. Tyler as Sec. of War) datelined Jan. 1, 1844, docket confirms that this New Years Day letter was actually 1845, red Easton, PA cds and ms Free, addressed to Robert Walker as Mississippi Senator, he would soon become Polk's' Sec. of the Treasury, written between Polk's election and inauguration. "I do not see that you grave and reverend Senators are moving along as fast on you Judicial nominations as is desired…you are delaying Pennsylvania and New Jersey without a representative on the bench of the Supreme Court…The whole of the country from Baltimore to Rhode Island is really unrepresented there. It is whispered that my particular friend Buchanan is holding back the appt. of King, for fear Governor Porter (the writer's brother) would appoint a successor to him on the Common pleas before he goes out of office…Rumor says you are to be Secretary of State…I hope it may be true- as well as the rumor that R.M. Saunders is to be of the Cabinet…I think he would do better as Secy. Of the Navy than as P.M.G. In making selection for Secy of the Treasury from New England, I have heard Gov. Hubbard, Geo Bancroft and David Henshaw named. I do not know Governor Hubbard personally, but I learn that he was actual member of the Hartford convention…that circumstance might be used against a Democratic administration…Mr. Bancroft is a literary but not a practical man and I should think wholly unfit for cabinet office (Bancroft became Naval Secretary and established the Naval Academy.)…He was an old Federalist and that could be an objection. D. Henshaw is a Democrat dyed in the wool…one of the most competent men for Secy of Treasury in the Union…", mounting strip at left edge not impacting letter, piece missing from edge of blank third page does impact address panel. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $160-220.
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$100
Lot 363

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1848 Mexican War, Supreme Court Political, interesting 3 page letter commenting on many topics of the times, FLS has partial Washington City CDS with hand stamped "5" sent to New Jersey, just a portion of the letter: "In the Sup. Court, Mr. Webster, Mr. Reverdy Johnson (Maryland Senator, would be Attorney General in 1 year.), Mr. John Sargent and Mr. Clay have held forth respectively and each one of these eminent gentlemen has (to use a phrase which some might consider a little profane) "done his d__dest." Mr. Clay's effort in particular is spoken of as quite equal to his great reputation…as a matter of course was listened to by a large and brilliant auditory, composed mostly of ladies. It was utterly impossible for anybody wearing breeches to get a seat…It turns out that no prospect of a treaty has been received from Mexico. The impression now is that Mr. Trist is operating entirely without authority from the President. We shall know all about it by and by", Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $140-180.
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$90
Lot 364

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1856 Walker Wars, Postmaster of New Orleans responds to parents in Vermont searching for their son, who has evidently joined William Walker's expedition to Nicaragua, letter sheet is preprinted "Post Office, New Orleans" and dated Feb. 20, 1856, separate address panel with clear New Orleans cds canceling #11A, letter reads: "In reply to your inquiry under date of the 30th, I have to inform you that after diligent search, I have been informed that your son left this city to join Gen. Walker's forces… I would here remind you that P.M. of my grade, have not the franking privilege, and that are daily, nay hourly, taxed by such applications as yours; therefore, in all cases I would advise you to enclose a stamp to prepay the reply", Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $160-200.
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Current Bid
$80
Lot 365

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1858 Walker Wars, to James L. Kemper, Confederate General and later Governor of Virginia from H. Caven, Mobile, Ala., Dec. 1858, very interesting and diverse content in 3 page letter, mentions yellow fever, itemizes living expenses in Mobile, discusses Democratic political environment in Mobile and Walker going to Nicaragua, "…I pay $12 a month for a woman to cook, $10 per month for a house servant girl, $15 per month for a gardener, 75¢ per cord for cutting my wood & I hall it with my yard hands. My grocery bill is $60 per month, never less than $50. You will say that is extravagant, yet I cannot do with less… General Wm Walker is in Mobile about 300 emigrants shipped out on the 5th just for Nicaragua, they were stopped 6 miles below Mobile by a U S vessel but they made there escape and perhaps have landed in Nicaragua, old Buck (Pres. Buchanan) don't stand high in Mobile as a large majority are for Walker". Partial of the content described.
Estimate $160-200.
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Current Bid
$90
Lot 366

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1859 Horatio King, Postmaster General, letter sheet from the Post Office Department Dec. 23, 1859 describing international printed matter rates: "…I have to inform you that books bound or unbound, are chargeable with letter postage in the U.S. and British mail. It is presumed that the pamphlets referred to, bound in paper covers would be properly classified as books under our postal arrangements with G.B.…", with King's signature, Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $140-180.
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$80
Lot 367

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 5 Letters Discussing National and Pennsylvania Politics, most discuss an aspect of Pennsylvania's role in national politics. 1. Addressed to Congressman John Bucher from Francis Shunk (would become PA Governor), Dec. 12, 1832, discussing the unsuccessful vote for Senator. 2. Letter from Dudley Mann, Dec. 5, 1833 to L.M. Barkley in the Pa. House in opposition to McKean and in support of James Buchanan, included: "Buch(anan) or Muhlenberg would be the candidates for you to select from and support. McKean has no friends in this County in any party…. you know the Jackson men are opposed to him; …. so are a majority of the nationals, his talents are not superior to the others- under these circumstances why support him- If you wish to represent your constituents, you will not vote for him; and if you want to benefit your native state I presume you would not select Saml McKean as the proper person. With Bedfordd PA Dec 7 cds. 3. David Porter letter as State Senator to Reah Frazer reporting the vote for U.S. Senator with James Buchanan as the winner. Porter frank and Harrisburg, Pa. CDS, Dec. 14, 1836. 4. Very newsy letter from delegate of Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, May 7, 1837 with address leaf to his wife in Philadelphia., light Harrisburg cds and ms "Convention", letter discusses the bitter debate of Whigs and Anti-masons, especially Thaddeus Stevens. 5. Henry Buehler to Reah Frazer concerning the Pennsylvania Convention which would determine the State's nominee for President, Harrisburg, Oct. 29,1842, Fine to Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $180-270.
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$90
Lot 368

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 4 Letters with Interesting Political Content, 1. ALS, Jan. 6, 1857 from Simon Cameron in his hand to Reah Frazer asking that a copy of Frazer's newspaper with election information be sent to a friend, Cameron was fiercely anti-Buchanan, letter related to 1857 election when Buchanan would be elected, letter ends "We must fight on till the end." 2. May 7,1844 New York stampless from Judge Samuel Foot to Henry W Green (Chief Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court). Talks of Presidential race and expectations for Clay. Mentions his heart warms for the Southern delegates in town for the convention. 3. July 27, 1844 with black Shippensburg, PA cds, incl. "This day it rains constant which I think will make a great many thousand bushels of corn. I think a much greater blessing than the great Clay Whig meeting that is to take place in Chambersburg today. For my part I cannot see why any moral, good man could wish to place Henry Clay at the head of the nation and look for a blessing of prosperity on that nation" 4. Worcester, Ma. Stampless, Nov 27, 1848 with letter describing pre-election rallies of the Whigs and Free Soilers, incl. "Politics have been all the (sic) here for three or four weeks past. Each party having torchlights, illuminations, bonfires, firing cannon etc. Some few weeks since the whigs and free soilers had torchlights the same evening. The whigs had Daniel Webster to make them a speech and the free soilers had several speakers at the hall…Fronts of the builds was arranged. Several fire works. Together with a free soil balloon which ascended a short distance and burnt", Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $120-230.
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$90
Lot 369

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1840 William Henry Harrison Campaign, folded letter, Harrisburg/Pa. CDS, frank of R. Carothers, HR (Pennsylvania), datelined Feb. 8, 1840, shortly after Harrison was nominated in Harrisburg, good political content:…"Harrisonism appears to be gaining in all parts of the Union & particularly in our own state. There is great reason to believe that he will take the vote of the Keystone State. There is a project now on foot of establishing a new paper in this place…We had a meeting on the subject., a Mr. Greely of New York is spoken of as the editor. He is spoken of as a very superior man for that station…The loco focos are in a terrible dilemma. If they go for immediate resumption, the will destroy the Country as a large portion of the people are indebted to the Banks", also much content about the legislative session, small separations, toning on address panel, Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $120-150.
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$70
Lot 370

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, John Butterfield Stage Lines, Butterfield operated stage lines in the northeast and southwest, best known for Overland Mail Co, first trans-continental stage, headquartered in Utica, he became Mayor in 1865, ALS signed "J. Butterfield & Co." May 27, 1843, Utica, N.Y. double oval & FREE in ribbon to Postmaster of Constableville, NY., letter incl. "Yours of the 16th was received and should have been answered immediately, but by being absent was neglected. We have no objections to comply with your request. You will direct the driver to carry the mail from your place to Turin as you wish", early Butterfield letter concerning mail, small stain and mounting adhesions. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $120-160.
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$70
Lot 371

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, Simon Cameron, Lincoln's First Secretary of War, 1 page ALS with cover, both in hand of Cameron with interesting political content to newspaper publisher, William Gavin, incl. "I was in Washington last week but heard only little. I had a satisfactory talk with Atherton, from which I infer that Buck (Buchanan) has no chance for the cabinet and yet I fear he will have much influence in distributing the minor places", blue Middletown, PA cds, Jan. 13 (1853), Fine to Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $120-150.
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$60
Lot 372

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1856 James Buchanan Election, November 8, 1856. Boston cds and grid killer on #9, letter to William Putney Kuhn while a teenage clerk at the Robert B. Storer Counting House in Boston, Kuhn would later become a prominent Boston businessman, letter in part reads "I have been waiting for a few days in order to hear with certainty the result of the election. I think there can be no doubt that Buchanan is elected, so I propose three cheers for James Buchanan our next President Although I was a warm supporter of Fremont and Fillmore would have been my next choice, yet I consider it the duty of every citizen to yield to the opinion of the majority, and govern himself accordingly.", stamp is closely trimmed, tear on backflap, Very Fine. Partial of the content described.
Estimate $100-120.
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$60
Lot 373

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1861 Atlantic & Ohio Telegram, Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Lines letterhead with text of telegram outlining Buchanan's departure from Washington after Lincoln's inauguration "Lanc. March 4 1861…Some of escort committee going today by way of York. I go by Phild tonight. President will arrive at Columbia by special train on Wednesday at 1 o'clock", incl. original telegram transmittal envelope, Fine.
Estimate $120-150.
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$60
Lot 374

United States, James Buchanan Exhibit, Historical Letters, 1829 Jackson Election and Cabinet, Free Frank of Charles Miner, PA Congressman on letter written on floor of House of Representatives, February 10, 1829, letter reports that Duff Green has won the House printing contract and goes on to speculate on Jackson's cabinet: "Tomorrow the votes for President will be counted. General Jackson will be here, it is expected on Thursday, choosing to wait until the votes are declared. Nothing certainly is known in respect to his Cabinet. Still the opinion persists that Mr. Van Buren Sec. Of State. Mr McLean will be Sec of War; Mr. Woodbury Sec. Of Navy; Secretary of the Treasury more in doubt than ever", some separation on LS, Fine.
Estimate $100-120.
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Current Bid
$60








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