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Presidents and Elections

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Theodore Roosevelt Opposes Wilson and
Uses His Own Ancestry to Make a Case for “true Americanism.” (SOLD)

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Autograph Letter Signed, “Theodore Roosevelt,” to Theodore C. Blegen, Oyster Bay, N.Y., January 12, 1916, 5 ¾ x 7 ¾ in., 2 pp.

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I am a good example of the melting pot—and I am straight United States.

From his summer residence in Oyster Bay, Long Island, Theodore Roosevelt writes to historian Theodore C. Blegen.  While Blegen would go on to a prominent career in higher education, at this time, he was teaching high school in Minnesota.  Here, the former President criticizes Woodrow Wilson’s immigration policies while discussing his own family’s immigration experience.

Item #22297.01-.02, SOLD — please inquire about other items

President Wilson Urges Americans to Support the “Stricken Jewish People” of Europe During World War I

WOODROW WILSON, Printed Document Signed, Proclamation re “stricken Jewish people,” January 11, 1916, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 8 x 12.25 in.

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I...do appoint and proclaim January 27, 1916, as a day upon which the people of the United States may make such contributions … for the aid of the stricken Jewish people.

With this proclamation, President Woodrow Wilson responds to a Senate resolution calling for contributions to the American Red Cross to benefit the millions of “stricken Jewish people” in nations involved in World War I. The “Jewish Relief Day” campaign raised $2 million. Just over a year later, the United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies.

Item #27810, $25,000

Teddy Roosevelt Attacks Republican Committee for Robbing Him of Presidential Return

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Partial Autograph Draft of a Speech, June 17, 1912. Front and back of a single sheet of imprinted Congress Hotel and Annex letterhead. 2 pp., 6 x 9½ in.

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the National Committee can not defeat the wishes of the rank and file of the Republican voters by unseating delegates honestly elected & seated…” With note on verso, “I think I could probably be nominated

After former president Theodore Roosevelt won nine of thirteen Republican primaries in 1912, he was convinced that he was the choice of the people to succeed fellow Republican William Howard Taft. After the Republican National Committee refused to seat Roosevelt delegates instead of Taft delegates chosen by state committees, Roosevelt cried foul. Most of his delegates abstained from voting, and Taft just reached the number of delegates needed for the nomination.

In response, Roosevelt formed his own Progressive Party and divided the Republican vote, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the general election.

Item #24951, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Theodore Roosevelt, Furious with Cuba's "Pointless" 1906 Revolution

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, to Henry White, September 13, 1906, Oyster Bay, New York. Autograph Endorsement as Postscript. On “The White House” letterhead. 3 pp., 8 x 10¼ in.

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Just at the moment I am so angry with that infernal little Cuban republic that I would like to wipe its people off the face of the earth. All we have wanted from them was that they would behave themselves and be prosperous and happy … they have started an utterly unjustifiable and pointless revolution and may get things into such a snarl that we have no alternative save to intervene - which will at once convince the suspicious idiots in South America that we do wish to interfere after all, and perhaps have some land-hunger!...”

This “Confidential” letter brims with significant content, as Roosevelt comments on hunting, disarmament, the Cuban Revolution, and the American voter. He expressed particular frustration at the inability of the new Cuban Republic to maintain a legitimate democracy. In September 1905, candidate Tomás Estrada Palma and his party rigged the Cuban presidential election to ensure his victory over liberal candidate José Miguel Gómez. The liberals revolted in August 1906, leading to the collapse of Estrada Palma’s government the following month, and to U.S. military and political intervention.

Item #27311, $12,500

President Theodore Roosevelt Agrees to Write His Famous Speech Attacking Journalistic Muck-Raking as an Enemy of Real Reform

Theodore Roosevelt, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Elbert Henry Gary, the chairman of the board and president of U.S. Steel (the first billion dollar corporation), March 20, 1906, Washington, D.C. On “The White House” letterhead. 2 pp., 6-7/8 x 8-3/4 in.

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I will go to the limit in enforcing the law against the wealthiest man or the wealthiest corporation if I think he or it has done wrong; but my whole soul revolts at a campaign of foul slander waged against men, … because they have succeeded in business....

Item #26174.01, SOLD — please inquire about other items

President Theodore Roosevelt Condemns Abortion, Birth Control, and Family Planning

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Rev. Franklin C. Smith, January 24, 1906, Washington, D.C. On White House stationery, with five words added in his hand. 4 pp., 8 x 10½ in.

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Decades before the landmark Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade, a passionate Roosevelt expresses his concern for the morality and “virility” of the American people. “As you are a minister of the Gospel I think I ought to say to you that I am so sure of it that I feel that no man who is both intelligent and decent can differ with me …

Item #21123.99, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Theodore Roosevelt Advocates
Fair and Square Treatment of the Freed Blacks” (SOLD)

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed to John D. Crimmins, Washington, D. C., March 23, 1903. 1 p. On White House stationery, with four words added in Roosevelt’s hand.

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Writing to a New York City philanthropist, President Theodore Roosevelt advocates equal rights for African-Americans and frames his sentiments in historical context. “I have never seen that letter. I am genuinely interested in it and of course heartily admire the way in which the Virginia President saw the kernel of the situation. What he says about emancipation is just as true now in reference to the policy of fair and square treatment of the freed blacks.

Item #21000, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Theodore Roosevelt Discusses Contentious Supreme Court Decisions Governing American Colonialism (SOLD)

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed with extensive manuscript addition, June 3, 1901, to F. G. Fincke, Oyster Bay, New York. On “The Vice President’s Chamber / Washington, D.C.” letterhead, 1 p., 7¾ x 10¼ in. With envelope with pre-printed free frank.

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Seriously, unless we were to go back to the Dred Scott decision, I fail to see how the Supreme Court could do otherwise than it did.

Item #25373, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Racist, Anti Roosevelt Drawing and Note

RACISM. [THEODORE ROOSEVELT], Drawing. 1p, 5 x 6¼ in.

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Item #22331, $2,500

“Poverty or Prosperity?” McKinley & Hobart 1896 Presidential Campaign Rare Huge Jugate Poster

[WILLIAM McKINLEY & HOBART], Jugate Poster, 1896. Distributed by Edwards, Deutsch, and Heitmann, Chicago, this is part of a series of these highly detailed large posters which appeared during the 1896 and 1900 elections. They are found showing both candidates of a single party, the opposing candidates, or single candidates. All have truly remarkable graphic artwork, and as a group, they represent the zenith of American political poster design. #27654 35.5 x 47.75 inches (sight), framed to 41.5 x 53.5 inches.

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Item #27654, $3,500

Roosevelt Recognizes Attributes of “brave and honorable” Legislator in Battle over the Reorganization of the NYPD (SOLD)

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed, May 16, 1895

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Just ten days into his impactful two-year stint as President of the Board of Police Commissioners, Roosevelt attempts to shape the complex debate over competing reform proposals in the state legislature. In part due to Roosevelt’s advocacy, and veteran upstate legislator D.A. Ainsworth’s reversal of positions, the “Supplemental Re-Organization Bill,” granting autocratic powers to longtime Police Chief Thomas Byrnes, was defeated. “Only a brave and honorable man will frankly and openly revise his action, when he receives trustworthy information that the measure is not what it seemed to him to be…

Item #21878, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Excluding Chinese Immigration: President Chester Arthur Orders Seal Affixed to His Angell Treaty Proclamation

CHESTER ARTHUR, Partially Printed Document Signed, Order to Affix Seal of the United States to His Proclamation, October 10, 1881, Washington, DC. 1 p., 8 x 10 in.

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With this order, new President Chester A. Arthur authorized Secretary of State James G. Blaine to affix the seal of the United States to the fully ratified Angell Treaty of 1880 that suspended the immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States. Further discriminatory steps were enacted by subsequent legislation continuing until 1943.

Item #27711, ON HOLD

Counting the Vote in 1876 – Florida’s First Election Fiasco

ELECTIONS, Two pamphlets and three documents relating to the disputed presidential election of 1876. 1876-1877.

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The 1876 presidential election between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden came down to a dispute over Florida’s electoral votes. These pamphlets and documents include official signed copies of key Florida court and executive decisions. From the papers of Edward Louden Parris, an attorney for Tilden, who ended up losing in the “Compromise of 1877.”

Item #21857.04, $1,450

Discontent with Gilded Age Presidential Politics
and the Influence of “the negro vote”

WILLIAM BEACH LAWRENCE, Autograph Letter Signed, to Henry Anthony. Newport [R.I.], November 25, 1872. 4 pp.

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A detailed, despairing letter on campaign politics after the reelection of Ulysses S. Grant. Lawrence observes the humiliating defeat of Democrats and “Liberal Republicans” – who united behind Horace Greeley because of corruption in the Grant administration – in the Election of 1872. Lawrence laments the elevation of personality over merit and virtue in elections, an observation which resonates today. He also expresses concern about how newly enfranchised African Americans tended to vote.  “The negroes are naturally disposed to support those who are in power & whom they invest with superior dignity, on account of the possession of power. …the extraordinary denouement of the Cincinnati Convention has placed in bold relief the mode most unsatisfactory to an intelligent people, by which party conventions are constituted & which are readily made, the instruments of the vilest partisan combinations, carried on by men without character & without principle.

Item #20020, $950

President Grant Preliminary Order Seeking to End Ku Klux Klan Violence in South Carolina

ULYSSES S. GRANT, Manuscript Document Signed, as President, directing Secretary of State Hamilton Fish to “affix the seal of the United States to the accompanying Proclamation commanding the persons composing certain unlawful combinations in the State of South Carolina to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes.” Washington, D.C. March 24, 1871, 1 p., 7.75 x 9.75 in.

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Accompanied by a modern printing of the text of Grant’s proclamation:

“Whereas it is provided in the Constitution that the United States shall protect every state in the Union… and …Whereas I have received information that combinations of armed men, unauthorized by law, are now disturbing the peace and safety of the citizens of the State of South Carolina and committing acts of violence … which render the power of the State and its officers unequal to the task of protecting live and property and securing public order therein…”ordering members of the Ku Klux Klan to “disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days…”

Item #27741, $7,500

Washington Attorney and Inventor Writes to Arms Manufacturer about Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

[ANDREW JOHNSON]. CLIFFORD ARRICK, Autograph Letter Signed, to James T. Ames, March 2, 1868, Washington, D.C. On U.S. House of Representatives stationery. 5 pp., 5 x 8 in.

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Our Convention having gone off half cocked, after the nomination of the noble Abraham we had nothing else to do, but endorse what they did, and adopt this modern bogus ‘Moses.’

The infliction of Andy upon us was after all a probable God Send. Mr Lincoln would have adapted himself to events probably, and his noble heart would have stopped far short of what is now, as inevitable as death.

Written on March 2, 1868, the day the House of Representatives approved the first nine articles of impeachment against President Andrew Johnson, this letter reflects on the responsibility for his 1864 nomination as vice presidential candidate and the villainy of his rule, and expresses the hope that African American voters would yet save the nation. Congressman Arrick apparently did not count on Johnson’s acquittal.

Item #26036, $850

Alexander Hamilton’s Son Thanks U.S. Senator for Report that Leads to President Johnson’s Impeachment

JOHN C. HAMILTON, Autograph Letter Signed, to Jacob M. Howard, January 11, 1868, New York. 2 pp., 5 x 7⅞ in.

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In this fascinating letter, Alexander Hamilton’s son thanks U.S. Senator Jacob M. Howard for his report on President Andrew Johnson’s attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. That attempt and the refusal of the Senate to endorse it led the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Johnson just six weeks after Hamilton wrote this letter.

John Hamilton also jokingly refers to Howard’s thinly veiled criticism of Thomas Jefferson, whom Hamilton characterizes as the “Machiavel of the U States.” Italian Renaissance man Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote The Prince (1513, published 1532) in which he commends an amoral expediency in the ruthless exercise of power, exactly the view the younger Hamilton held of Jefferson. Hamilton also commends his father’s plan for funding the nation’s Revolutionary War debt as a model for funding the Civil War debt.

Item #26035, $1,500

Campaign Document Uses Civil War’s Costs Against President Johnson

[ANDREW JOHNSON], The United States in Account with the Rebellion, Broadside, [October 1866]. 1 pp., 9½ x 11¼ in.

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Stand by Congress!

This broadside, presented in the form of a balance sheet, gives an account of the money and men the northern states spent in suppressing the rebellion and the results it had received, including the “Murder of President Lincoln” and the massacre of black and white Unionists in Memphis (May 1866), New Orleans (July 1866), and Platte City, Missouri (September 1866). It concludes that loyal people, both black and white, must stand by Congress against President Andrew Johnson.

Item #27504, ON HOLD

Pierce Urges His Young Nephew Studying at Princeton:
“Do Not for a Day Relax Your Labor”

FRANKLIN PIERCE, Autograph Letter Signed to Frank H. Pierce, his nephew. Concord, N.H., September 6, 1866. 2 pp.

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Former President Franklin Pierce worries that young Frank Pierce – like most undergraduates – is occupying himself with things other than his studies at Princeton.

Item #21116, $3,750

Edwin Stanton ALS Prelude to Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

EDWIN M. STANTON, Autograph Letter Signed as secretary of war, to Major General Henry W. Halleck on War Department letterhead. Washington, D.C. April 26, 1866. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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I am still tugging at the oar as hopelessly & almost as painfully as a galley slave”

Item #21929, $3,750
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