November 16, 1880

President-Elect James A. Garfield Turns Down a Loan to Tide Him Over Until Assuming the Presidency

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Perhaps having heard that the newly elected President could not even afford a horse and carriage – and wishing Garfield should find the path to Washington smooth in every respect - wealthy New Yorker Edwards Pierrepont offered him a loan until he assumed the presidency, with its $50,000 a year. Here President-Elect Garfield gracefully responds to his “thoughtfully kind… tender of an advance” of any money he might need prior to the 4th of March. It has made him feel free to tell Pierrepont if the occasion should arise, he says - but he thinks he shall be able to get through.
 
Inasmuch as Garfield would be infinitely plagued from the moment of his election by office seekers, right up until his murder at the hands of one – this letter evidences what for him must have been an especially pleasant turn of events: someone wanting to give him something, rather than get something from him.

Autograph Letter Signed, as President-Elect, 1 page, octavo, Mentor, Ohio, November 16, 1880. To Hon. Edwards Pierrepont. With autograph envelope.

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Transcript

Private

Mentor, O. Nov. 16, 1880.

My Dear Mr. Pierrepont,

Your very kind letter of the 9th ult came duly to hand.  It was thoughtfully kind in you to make the tender of an advance - of any money I may need prior to the 4th of March, & I thank you for it.

Your letter has made me feel free to tell you if the occasion should arise - But I think I shall be able to get through.

With kind regards, I am
Very Truly Yours

J.A. GARFIELD


[Envelope]

Private

Hon. Edwards Pierrepont
103 Fifth Avenue
New York