November 10, 1880

Chester A. Arthur Accepts Congratulations, as Vice-President Elect, on Winning His First and Last Election

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Here Chester A. Arthur accepts congratulations on having won his first, and last, election: that of Vice-President of the United States. Arthur, prior to starting at the top, had been a New York lawyer, and the Collector of the New York Customhouse. These pursuits made him wealthy, and he lived, in the words of a biographer, in a “world of expensive Havana cigars, Tiffany silver, fine carriages, and grand balls.” Thus this friendly letter to the wife of R.G. Dun – the financial services broker who would soon lend his name to the credit-rating and financial-services giant Dun & Bradstreet – one week after the election:

I am sure that no one is more gratified at the result than you are - & all of you. I hope that you & your husband appreciates the fact that it is considered a part of the Vice President's duty, to "go-a-fishing" & I hope we shall go together always.

Arthur, being to the manor self-promoted, was a member of a prestigious fishing club, and fished, too, with the business titan Dun. His Vice-Presidency, however, lasted a scant six months: he didn’t have nearly the time he expected, for idle angling.

Autograph Letter Signed (“C.A. Arthur”), as Vice-President Elect, 3 pages, octavo, on his heraldic “Impelle Obstantia" letterhead (black-edged in mourning for his wife), New York, November 10, 1880. To Mrs. Robert Graham Dun. Rare.

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Transcript

New York
Nov 10 1880

My dear Mrs. Dun

Thank you for your congratulations and good wishes - I am sure that no one is more gratified at the result than you are - & all of you.  I hope that you & your husband appreciates [sic] the fact that it is considered a part of the Vice President's duty, to "go-a-fishing" & I hope we shall go together always

Please thank Miss Bradford and Miss Van Dyke for their kind congratulations and believe me always

Faithfully Your friend

C.A. ARTHUR

Mrs. R G Dun
New York