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Human Aspect

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Manuscripts (45)

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Rare Letter to Bereaved: President Nixon's Response to the Kent State Shooting

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1464

Nixon sends a letter of condolence to the parents of William Schroeder, who was killed at the Kent State anti-war demonstration in May of 1970.
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Theodore Roosevelt: “What a Dreadful Creature Wilson is!”

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1272

One of Roosevelt's many jabs at Wilson, whom he labelled a coward for failing to declare war on Germany in 1915 after the sinking of the Lusitania.
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Theodore Roosevelt:

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1276

Theodore Roosevelt expresses his admiration for Abraham Lincoln and wishes to emulate him in championing the cause of the common people.
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Abraham Lincoln's Celebrated

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1544

President Lincoln asks Major Ramsey on behalf of a widowed woman to find work for her two sons. "Wanting to work is so rare a merit, that it should be encouraged," Lincoln continued, echoing his own famous work ethic.
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Lincoln Asks General Grant as a Friend, for a Favor: Find a Place for His Son, Robert, on His Staff

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1548

In order to broker a compromise between his wife, who had already buried two sons, and Robert Todd, who desperately wished to experience the war, Lincoln writes to Grant, not as President, but as a friend, asking him to find a place on his staff for Robert to serve. Lincoln asks merely for his son to be given a nominal rank and that Lincoln himself, and not the public, would furnish his necessary means.
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William T. Sherman Recalls His Trip to the Levant, and Teases His Lady Friend About Harem Life

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1587

William T. Sherman writes to Mary Audenried, teasingly warning her that travelling in the Middle East is especially hazardous to women, and that she could find herself in a harem. Sherman insists that western women are treated more as equals than women in the Levant.
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Mark Twain Lists His Favorite Books For Children - And Himself

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1688

Twain is asked by a correspondent for recommended reading. Here he lists his favorite books.
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Mark Twain Excoriates Theodore Roosevelt as a Butcher, a Ruffian and a Bully

Autograph Manuscript

4 pages

SMC 1706

In an unpublished article, Mark Twain excoriates Theodore Roosevelt for bullying a fifteen-year-old girl and for promoting a man who, it was well known, was "brutal" to a woman in a waiting room.
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Grant Finds Egypt More Interesting Than Any Other Place He Has Visited

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1759

Grant marvels at Egypt's antiquity, at "ruins that have been standing - as ruins - some of them, for many ages before the beginning of the Christian era." This causes Grant to find Egypt more interesting than any other place he has visited.
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Albert Einstein Renounces German Citizenship;

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1792

Albert Einstein writes to his son from aboard the Belgenland, where he has learned that Hitler had given orders to ransack not only his Berlin apartment, but also his summer cottage. He decides whilst onboard to renounce his German citizenship, and tells his son that he will likely never return to Germany again.
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Abraham Lincoln Exercises Clemency:

Autograph Endorsement Signed

1 page

SMC 1811

Abraham Lincoln directs the release of "this boy" who had enlisted in the Union Army and received the standard bonus. Whether the boy was underage, AWOL, or a bounty-jumper(one of many who signed up for the enlistment bonus and then deserted) is unknown.
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Theodore Roosevelt Lambasts Woodrow Wilson for Refusing to Let Him Lead a Division in World War I

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2022

Fifty-nine year old, arthritic, overweight Theodore Roosevelt lambasts President Woodrow Wilson for refusing to allow him to lead a division in World War I, calling it Wilson's inability to "rise above the cheapest kind of party politics."
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Mary Surratt's Daughter Petitions Andrew Johnson for the Return of Her Mother's Remains

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2033

Mary Surratt was hanged as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She was also the first woman executed by the United States government. Here, her daughter, Anna, successfully petitions President Andrew Johnson for the return of her body.
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Lincoln Requests a

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 2038

Lincoln, who always liked to give his son Tad special gifts, asks here for two maps for his son.
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What's in a Name: Samuel Clemens Defines Mark Twain

Autograph Note Signed

2 pages

SMC 2117

Samuel Clemens explains his nom de plume as originating as a navigational term along the Mississippi. "Mark Twain" signified a depth sounding of two fathoms, and was called out by the leadsman; it was a term Twain, having served as a riverboat captain, would have heard daily.
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A Leaf from Abraham Lincoln's Earliest Handwritten Manuscript, His Homemade Student

Autograph Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 2233

His education, Lincoln said, was deficient: it lasted, formally, but a year. At 16 years old, Lincoln created a personal notebook, known then as a sum book. Here, amid arithmetical calculations, he also writes a piece of doggerel, daydreaming about his future.
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Calvin Coolidge Mourns the Death of His Son, Calvin Jr.

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 2419

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President Woodrow Wilson: Lonely in the White House

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 128

In Washington, President Woodrow Wilson, writing on the letterhead of his Cornish, N.H. estate at Harlakenden, reports to his daughters, whom he left behind in Cornish, that the White House is the most "empty and forlorn" house imaginable.
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Three Days Before He is Assassinated, Abraham Lincoln Orders the Discharge of a Sickly Boy from the Army

Autograph Note Signed

4 pages

SMC 211

Three days before he will be shot and killed, Lincoln responds to a friend’s letter beseeching his help in arranging the discharge of a sickly boy from the army.
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Abraham Lincoln

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 212

On his last birthday, Abraham Lincoln pardons mischievous schoolboys, allowing them to return to school on condition that they do not misbehave.
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Mark Twain On His House

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 281

Samuel Clemens writes to his daughter Jean about the new house, "Innocence at Home," President Grover Cleveland's morality and abilities, and the doctor's orders for her epilepsy.
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From Prison, a Defiant Alfred Dreyfus Writes to his Family Swearing to Clear His Name

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 295

Alfred Dreyfus writes to his family from prison, and attempts to lead his family by example by keeping his head held high and not weakening in the fight to clear his name from the stain of treason.
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Warren G. Harding Thanks a Young Girl for a Four-Leaf Clover, Just as His Luck was Running Out

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 324

In June of 1923, a young girl named Vivian Little sent President Warren G. Harding a pressed four-leaf clover for good luck. Ironically, that month would bring the worst luck yet for the President; the scandals he was involved in were beginning to surface, and his heart disease would take his life within two months.
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Abraham Lincoln's Famous Civil War Condolence Letter to Young Fanny McCullough About Loss and Memory

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 346

Written to Fanny McCullough on the loss of her father, Abraham Lincoln makes a very rare reference to his mother's death when he was a boy. Lincoln, too, was dealing with more recent grief, having buried his son earlier that year. This letter was written a week after the battle of Fredericksburg, which claimed the lives of over 1500 men, including Fanny's father.
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Chaim Weizmann Agrees to Stand as Godfather to Orde Wingate's Son

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 378

Chaim Weizmann agrees to stand as Godfather to the son of Major General Orde Wingate, Orde Jonathan Wingate.
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Eisenhower's Trip to Ohrdruf Concentration Camp:

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 393

General Eisenhower writes to his wife, after seeing the Ohrdruf concentration camp, that he never dreamt that such cruelty could exist in this world. Poignantly, he mentions that many American soldiers do not seem to know what they are fighting for. Eisenhower ordered every unit not on the front lines to tour the camp, and writes here "now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against."
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Abraham Lincoln's Check to His Son, Robert Lincoln, to Equip Him For Service Under Grant

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 456

Check from Abraham Lincoln to his son, Robert Todd Lincoln. The president had finally allowed his son to serve in the war, and made sure he was sent to General Grant. This check was to ensure that his son was properly kitted out for war.
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Mourning Daughter Susy, Mark Twain Describes His Family Life as Adrift, Indifferent, and Derelict

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 484

Mark Twain describes the listlessness of his family life since the sudden death of his daughter Susy. Whereas once they had a charted course, now they are adrift. And what is more, they are "derelict" and indifferent to their plight.
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With World War I Still Raging, Theodore Roosevelt Mourns His Fallen Son

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 550

Writing a fortnight after the death of his favorite son, Quentin, Theodore Roosevelt admits his difficulty, and remarks that "the old should not live when the young die."
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Former President Tyler Tells His Son He is Hard Pressed to Support His Family

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 592

Responding to his son's request for a loan, former President Tyler tells his son that between medical bills, providing for his own growing family and supporting his own brother, he doesn't have much to give, but is prepared to help, should his son not be able to secure a loan from a friend.
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President John F. Kennedy on the Death of His Infant Son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 716

President John F. Kennedy's infant son Patrick Bouvier Kennedy was born prematurely and lived for 39 hours. Five days later, the president thanks his sister-in-law and husband for their support during this difficult time.
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Max Nordau Praises the Juvenile Poetry of

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 755

Over a decade before she became famous as a poet, novelist, critic and translator, Babette Deutsch received this letter of praise from Max Nordau.
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Fifteen Years as Prime Minister is Enough, David Ben-Gurion Says: Now He's Writing the History of Israel

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 772

David Ben-Gurion explains to an admirer that he left politics because no single person should be practically synonymous with a country. He has a different and important task at hand: writing his epic history of Israel from 1870-1965.
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President John Tyler Says the Presidency is a Prison

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 954

President John Tyler, writing to his wife amidst a "political storm," tells her that the Presidency is a prison, from which he can only escape for minutes.
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Pierce on His Favorite Portrait of Himself, That of His Dead Son, and Those of the First Five Presidents

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 962

Franklin Pierce writes to Francis Bicknell Carpenter, a renowned painter who would go on to achieve even greater fame with his paintings of Lincoln, especially of Lincoln reading the Emancipation Proclamation. Here, Pierce expresses the great satisfaction he and Mrs. Pierce take in Carpenter’s portrait of his dead son – painted from a daguerreotype following the boy's tragic death in 1853.
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President Franklin Pierce Warmly Endorses the Kansas-Nebraska Act as

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 966

Pierce endorses the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed citizens of those states to decide if they wanted to retain slaves or not. This decision reversed the Missouri compromise of 1820 and sharply divided the nation.
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Jane Pierce, Recalling Her Deceased Child, is Haunted by Happier Times

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 979

Just seven months before this letter was penned, her beloved son and only surviving child, Bennie, was struck down before her eyes in a train wreck, in which he was the only fatality. Here she writes to her sister about family matters - but her tragic loss is never far from her thoughts.
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1858 Senate Report Regarding the

Typed Manuscript

30 pages

SMC 1012

The 1858 Senate report, which details the murder and rape of the Dickson family in their agricultural colony. The author, Jonathan Steinbeck was a descendent of members of the colony, and the "Outrages at Jaffa" is alluded to in his East of Eden. Herman Melville, inspired by the tragic events, wrote his epic poem Clarel.
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Lincoln, Four Days After Son Willie's Death, Tells Sumner Mary Lincoln Needs His Help -

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1034

Four days after the death of his eleven year-old son Willie - and as his youngest son still lay seriously ill - a grieving Lincoln asks Mary Lincoln's close friend, Senator Charles Sumner, to call on his inconsolable wife.
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Robert Todd Lincoln is Gratified That His Father's Name is Still Current and His Memory Respected

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1107

Robert Todd Lincoln is gratified to learn that a political club is named after his father. In this letter, he also declines to run for president.
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Robert E. Lee, Charmingly, and Piously, Responds to a Young Girl's Gift of Socks in 1865

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1123

Robert E. Lee thanks a little girl for her letter and her gift of socks that he has received upon becoming president of Washington College.
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A Contemporary Account of the William McKinley Assassination by a 15 Year-Old Girl

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1183

Edna M. Hurry, a fifteen-year-old bookkeeper, goes into striking detail in her eyewitness account of President William McKinley's assassination.
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Secretary of Navy Long: President William McKinley,

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1186

In this private note to his daughter, in which he discusses, amongst other things, a birthday present for his daughter, Naval Secretary John Long reveals that President William McKinley will absolutely not be seeking a third term.
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Theodore Roosevelt Bitterly Regrets Being Forced to Sit Through WWI At Home

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1253

Roosevelt has lost one son to the Great War, and two have been badly injured in it. He can't stand the idea that his sons have been put in harm's way, whilst he remains at home, and finds it terrible that the war takes the young. Roosevelt also finds it "more terrible, of course, if the young fear to face death in a great crisis for a great cause."
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Edith Roosevelt on Her Husband's Recovery from an Assassination Attempt and the Bullet Left Inside Him

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1254

Edith Roosevelt writes to a friend who had asked the Roosevelts for medical as well as financial guidance. Mrs. Roosevelt answers that the medical advice should be left to their family physician; Theodore will dispense with the financial advice after the medical issue is resolved. She mentions in passing that the surgeon has deemed it safer to leave the bullet in Theodore's chest, which makes her anxious.
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