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Manuscripts (67)

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Young John F. Kennedy Condemns Harry Truman's Reversal to Support the Partition of Palestine

Autograph Manuscript

2 pages

SMC 149

At a dinner of Jewish veterans, John F. Kennedy, then a congressman from Massachusetts, condemns Harry Truman's withdrawal of support for the partition of Palestine as "one of the most unfortunate reversals in American policy. Kennedy also called for the US to lift the arms embargo in order to give Israel a chance to protect herself in the ensuing war.
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Former PresidentHarry Truman on President John F. Kennedy's Handling of Racial Violence and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1426

Harry Truman suggests that the explosive situations in Mississippi and Cuba could have been avoided with appropriate, decisive presidential action from Kennedy, whom he refers to here not by name but only as "the man in charge," and "the man in the White House
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Harry Truman Refers to Himself as an

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 695

Harry Truman refers to his humble roots as he objects to high ticket prices for the upcoming Democratic dinner, contrasting himself to the current President, John F. Kennedy.
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President John F. Kennedy Polishes a Letter Declining to Write a Book on Thomas Jefferson

Typed Letter

1 page

SMC 1448

Emulating Jefferson's elegant simplicity, President Kennedy hones a letter in which he must decline an offer to write a book about the third president of the United States, due to time constraints.
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President John F. Kennedy Says He’s Tempted to Write About Thomas Jefferson but His Current Job Takes Up All His Time

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 660

President Kennedy declines a publisher's offer to write a book about Thomas Jefferson, citing his time-consuming job as President of the United States.
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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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Theodore Roosevelt on the sinking of the Lusitania

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1278

Theodore Roosevelt resented Woodrow Wilson's weak position on German naval aggression. Here, he unequivocally states that had Wilson shown some strong leadership and stood up to Germany, over 1000 civilians would not have lost their lives at sea.
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Taft, Running for President Against Theodore Roosevelt, Calls Him a

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1290

Taft says he wouldn't mind losing the election against Roosevelt, if only to have thwarted Roosevelt from gaining a third term in the White House. He calls Roosevelt "a genuine menace to the welfare of our country."
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Taft Declares That Denying Roosevelt the Presidency Again is Victory Enough

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1298

After being betrayed by his mentor, Theodore Roosevelt, who tried to secure the Republican nomination for himself, Taft, having recently won the nomination, lets schadenfreude wash over him as Roosevelt is defeated.
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President Warren G. Harding Acclaims Abraham Lincoln the Apogee of the Golden Age of American Statesmanship

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1331

President Warren G. Harding, whose administration would be marred by scandal and corruption, reflects on the Edenic, Lincolnian age of politics, in which all men were giants owing to the "moral intensity of this one man," Abraham Lincoln.
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He's

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1406

Truman initially regarded Kennedy as as young, inexperienced, and up for office because his father bought him the vote. Here, Truman supports Kennedy's handling of the Berlin crisis, which saw the city divided between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies. Rather than seeing Kennedy's actions as weak, he praised the President's leadership in buying time with the Soviets in order to retain control of half the city.
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Harry Truman Muses on Presidential Succession and Disability

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1415

In this remarkable letter, Truman, who inherited the presidency upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, muses to his ex-Secretary of State about presidential succession in the case of death, or even disability.
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Harry Truman Reads John Nicolay and John Hay on Abraham Lincoln, As He Tries to Write History of Presidency

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1417

Harry Truman gratefully accepts the complete works of Lincoln, which he sees as a great help to his research on the history of the presidency.
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Woodrow Wilson Suspends His Campaign on Account of Theodore Roosevelt Assassination Attempt

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 172

Here, Governor Wilson tells a political operative that he wishes with all his heart that it were possible for him to address a noonday meeting near the Borough Hall as suggested, but cannot. Wilson resumed his campaign when Roosevelt was discharged from hospital, and went on to win the election.
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David Ben-Gurion on Eisenhower:

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 189

David Ben-Gurion recalls Dwight D. Eisenhower as a "lovely person," who wanted to help the Jews immediately after World War II, but was prevented from doing so by the British Foreign Office and the American State Department.
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Theodore Roosevelt Confidently Reports that the Mortally Wounded President McKinley is Doing Well

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 245

Roosevelt feels assured not only that McKinley will recover, but that his recovery will be so speedy that in a very short time he will be able to resume his duties.
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Harry Truman:

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 369

Harry Truman had eventually been won over by the young John F. Kennedy, whom Truman regarded as young, inexperienced, and up for office because his father bought him the vote. Writing about the election of the first Catholic president, Truman claims that it makes no difference what one's religious affiliation is, as long as the Constitution is defended.
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Harry Truman Looks at the Potsdam Conference 12 Years Later: An Astonishing Appraisal of What Went Wrong

Autograph Letter Signed

8 pages

SMC 429

Knowing that his papers would be released for reporters to examine his version of the Potsdam Conference twelve years prior, Harry Truman paints a revisionist history of what happened and what went wrong.
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Abraham Lincoln Explains Why He Supports Zachary Taylor For President in 1848: Political Pragmatism

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 532

Though an ardent supporter of Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln explains why he supporting Zachary Taylor in the upcoming election. Not because he would make a better president than Clay, but because "he would make a better one than Polk, or Cass, or Buchanan, or any such creatures, one of whom is sure to be elected, if he is not." In short, Lincoln was being politically pragmatic.
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Theodore Roosevelt on Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 548

Theodore Roosevelt accepts compliments on his address for the upcoming cornerstone ceremonies of the Lincoln birthplace, and is grateful that his words are not printed alongside the immortal Gettysburg address.
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Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 586

Here, just six days after Abraham Lincoln won the presidency with a scant 40% of the vote, Former President John Tyler laments the election.
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Harry Truman,

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 591

Truman is frustrated yet optimistic in this letter. On one hand, neither Kennedy nor Nixon were, in his opinion, desirable candidates. On the other hand, Truman concedes, this is probably how the "oldsters" felt in 1828, 1840, 1852, and 1860, when those elections changed the course of American politics. Ultimately, he posits America came out "on top" in these other elections and will in this one as well.
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Eisenhower & Kennedy:  Eisenhower Writes JFK a Chilly Letter After Losing the 1960 Election

Typed Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 703

Eisenhower coldly, yet cordially, confirms that his friend and Defense Liaison Officer, General Andrew Goodpaster, will be staying, as per Kennedy's request, with the President until February or March.
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President-Elect Eisenhower Thanks Mary Lincoln's Niece for the Gift of a

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 704

President-Elect Eisenhower thanks the grandniece of Mary Lincoln for a gift of a pen holder made from the original wood of the Lincoln Homestead.
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Campaigning for General Land Office Commissioner, Lincoln Asks Congressman to Write to “Old Zach” About Him

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 853

Abraham Lincoln writes to Representative Moses Hampton of Pennsylvania, a congressman with whom whom he had served. Lincoln was seeking the position of commissioner of the General Land Office at Washington. and wanted Hampton to put in a good word for him with President Zachary Taylor. Lincoln did not get the position.
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President James Monroe on Purchase of Florida and John Adams's Recommendation of Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 934

President Monroe writes to his Secretary of War, James Calhoun about the Purchase of Florida, and about John Adams's recommendation of Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse as medical superintendent of military facilities in New England.
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John Quincy Adams Writes About John Adams

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 939

In response to a pastor's request for an autograph of John Quincy Adams alongside that of his father, John Adams, John Quincy readily obliges with his own autograph, but explains that towards the end of his father's life, "his eyes and hands had almost ceased to serve him and he dictated even his signatures."
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Andrew Jackson Predicts Martin van Buren Will Win with a Greater Majority Than Any Since Washington

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 944

Andrew Jackson incorrectly predicts that his Vice President and chosen successor Martin van Buren would win the upcoming election by a landslide. Van Buren emerged victorious, but it was a close race.
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Martin van Buren, Just Two Days Into James K. Polk's Term, Prepares to Write His Political Antagonist

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 948

Feeling betrayed, Martin van Buren prepares to protest political appointments made by James K. Polk just days after the latter assumed the presidency.
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Buchanan Approves Abraham Lincoln’s Ordering Fremont to Rescind His Emancipation Proclamation

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 984

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Chief Justice William Howard Taft:

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1030

Chief Justice Taft looks forward to reading Emmanuel Hertz’s Lincoln addresses, noting that "The fame of Lincoln has spread to every land, and details in respect to his personality will certainly prove to be of interest and usefulness."
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Chief Justice William Howard Taft Comments on an Abraham Lincoln Address by Emanuel Hertz

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1031

William Howard Taft, the only man to be both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court here comments, obliquely, on an address about Lincoln, in which Emanuel Hertz has "noted a reference to a suggestion of mine."
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John Tyler: His Cabinet Problems, Franklin Pierce’s Election, and Presidential Etiquette

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1049

Though he expresses admiration for President-Elect Franklin Pierce, and claims he'd be willing to host him, President John Tyler refuses to congratulate Pierce, nor does he invite him over.
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Former President Millard Fillmore: Abraham Lincoln's Election Caused the War

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1061

In this sometimes scathing letter mostly concerning Thurlow Weed, former President Millard Fillmore can say only one good thing about him: Weed was "the first among his friends to see and admit the danger to the country from Lincoln's election."
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Millard Fillmore Asks Lincoln for a Favor; On the Back of the Letter, Lincoln Takes Steps to Oblige Him

Autograph Endorsement Signed

1 page

SMC 1065

Former President Fillmore asks President Lincoln to intercede on behalf of his nephew, a disgraced lieutenant. On the verso of the letter, Lincoln takes steps to oblige Fillmore, but ultimately did not intervene in the case.
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Abraham Lincoln Recommends a Franklin Pierce White House Appointee to General Benjamin Butler

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1085

Here, for the second time, Abraham Lincoln endorses Thomas Stackpole, who had risen through the ranks as a White House staff member, from watchman, to doorman, to the more intimate steward. Lincoln had recommended Stackpole to General Wool as a fine businessman, and repeats the endorsement to General Benjamin Butler four years later.
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Rutherford B. Hayes Announces He Will Attend Ulysses S. Grant's Funeral

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1149

Hayes, in arranging for a visit at his home, announces he will be attending the funeral of the man he succeeded in the White House, Ulysses S. Grant, in New York City.
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President Rutherford B. Hayes Quotes Abraham Lincoln on Equal Opportunities for All

Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 1202

President Rutherford B. Hayes quotes Abraham Lincoln, calling for all to have "an equal start and a fair chance in the race of life."
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Rutherford B. Hayes Discusses, At Length, the Disputed Election of 1876

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1204

The election of Rutherford B. Hayes hung, precariously, on disputed returns from four states -- chief among them, Louisiana. Here, long after the fact, Hayes reviews with one of his chief lieutenants, John Sherman, what happened there, and why.
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Former President Rutherford Hayes Expresses Satisfaction with Himself, His Successor, and John Sherman

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1213

Two days after leaving office, Rutherford B. Hayes writes to John Sherman, his Secretary of the Treasury, to thank him for his help. Hayes also adds that he's happy with his successor, and that he read Sherman's farewell speech to the Treasury, which did much to dispel the notion that Sherman was "too cold in temperament."
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President Benjamin Harrison Discusses a Letter Written by his Grandfather, William Henry Harrison

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1235

President Benjamin Harrison thanks Curtis Guild, Sr., a collector, for sending him a copy of a letter written by his grandfather, William Henry Harrison. The President is pleased to have obtained a letter of "great family interest."
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Young Benjamin Harrison Writes President Lincoln About

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1236

Young Benjamin Harrison, who had made stump speeches for President Lincoln's campaign calls in a favor just two days into Lincoln's administration: he endorses Senatorial Elector and Lincoln canvasser Will Cumback as worthy of "a mark of Administrative favor." Lincoln appoints Cumback paymaster.
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Senator Benjamin Harrison on Writing about the

Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1237

Benjamin Harrison declines to write a short tribute to Abraham Lincoln, explaining that as he is short on time, it would not be appropriate to take on the task, as one must choose one's words wisely when discussing Lincoln.
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A Scarce Signed Photograph of Benjamin Harrison as President

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1243

Rare signed photograph of Benjamin Harrison as President.
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Former President Benjamin Harrison Explains That Former Presidents Should Be Seen and Not Heard

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1244

Appalled by William McKinley's imperialism, Benjamin Harrison declines to endorse and speak on his behalf, insisting that former presidents should be "seen and not heard."
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Theodore Roosevelt Writes From

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1255

Before departing Panama, Theodore Roosevelt writes to Dr. Manuel Amador Guerrero who, as the first President of Panama, received Roosevelt when he visited the Canal Zone in November, 1906. Roosevelt and Amador had worked together on creating the Panama Canal, and here Roosevelt thanks Amador for his thoughtful gifts.
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A Final Roar: In One of His Last Letters, Theodore Roosevelt Blasts Woodrow Wilson

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1256

Three days before he died, Theodore Roosevelt, by then unable to rise from the sofa and write, dictated this letter. In it, he finds the strength to lambast Woodrow Wilson for erring "in intellectual honesty and moral straight-forwardness," as well as finding fault in his own "single error," which was to support Wilson for the first sixty days of World War I.
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Harry Truman Tells How He Learned He Became the President: FDR's Death, He Says, Was a Complete Surprise

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 684

In this letter to Louis Reed (an administrative assistant to a West Virginia senator), Harry Truman reassures him that at the time they met, Truman had no idea that Roosevelt had died, and that he'd be ascending the presidency. It was as much of a surprise to Truman as to anyone else.
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Harry Truman Writes General Hap Arnold About FDR's Death, Two and a Half Weeks Before, as

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 694

Two weeks after Franklin Delano Roosevelt's death, Harry Truman is still reeling from the shock and his new role with all its responsibilities.
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Rutherford B. Hayes Responds to Lincoln's Assassination: Now He is

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 124

On the day Lincoln died, General Rutherford B. Hayes wrote that Abraham Lincoln would ever be remembered as the "darling of history."
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Vice President Johnson Quotes JFK's Famous

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1454

In thanking a lawyer for contributing a thoughtful report on business investment, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson misquotes John F. Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you" inaugural challenge.
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Richard Nixon, Loathed by Harry Truman, Speaks Well of Him

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1462

Though Harry Truman called Richard Nixon a lying bastard, Nixon writes to Truman's nephew (and namesake) and tells him their differences were not personal, and that he should be proud of his heritage.
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President Gerald Ford Writes About His Admiration of Abraham Lincoln

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1468

President Gerald Ford admires Lincoln more than anyone because of his "honesty, integrity and utmost dedication to the American people," and his willingness to confront slavery.
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A Ronald Reagan Photo in Front of the Berlin Wall, Inscribed With

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1471

Autograph quote from Ronald Reagan on a photo of him in front of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg gate. The famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
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Reagan Promises To Work for Foe Nixon in '68 :

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1473

Ronald Reagan, who lost the Republican nomination to Nixon, promises to "beat his brains out" in supporting his former foe; the Republican party doesn't have "too many more chances."
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Ronald Reagan Describes Himself as a

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1474

Ronald Reagan contends that America cannot survive another four years of Lyndon B. Johnson's administration's "aimlessness." He therefore calls himself a "crier of doom," as he vows to help enact political change.
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Ronald Reagan Declares that JFK Was Much More

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1478

Ronald Reagan admits that he doesn't know exactly what President Kennedy would have done with regards to the Vietnam War, though he is certain that JFK was more "intelligent and perceptive" than Johnson, whom he doesn't name directly.
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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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President William Howard Taft Praises President Grover Cleveland To Mrs. Cleveland

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1615

Replying to Mrs. Cleveland's letter thanking him for his stirring eulogies of her husband, President William Howard Taft reiterates his genuine respect for President Grover Cleveland as a man of courage and public duty.
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President Calvin Coolidge Declares His Abiding Interest in Abraham Lincoln

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1653

Here, President Calvin Coolidge thanks Emanuel Hertz, the Lincoln scholar and Jewish activist, for his book on Lincoln, confiding that he "is always deeply interested" in Lincoln.
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President Herbert Hoover, on the Lessons to be Drawn from Abraham Lincoln's Life

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1654

President Herbert Hoover, addressing a Lincoln biographer, suggests that Lincoln's greatness was not in winning a war, but in his conduct and attitude in victory.
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Millard Fillmore on Civil War: Abolitionists Pervert Cause and Lincoln Tempts Tyranny

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1767

Millard Fillmore accuses abolitionists of "destroying the Constitution" and attempting to "prevent a reunion of the states," in addition to "perverting this war into a war for emancipation."
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Reagan Worries That the Left Wants Conservatives in Concentration Camps and Says LBJ is a Bum

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1898

Two days after the crushing defeat of Barry Goldwater, Reagan takes stock of the nascent Conservative movement, speculates that the Left wants to see the Right in concentration camps, and gives vent to a rare burst of personal animosity: Lyndon Johnson, he declares, is a bum.
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Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, On Hearing that McKinley Has Been Shot, Wires For News

Autograph Telegram Signed

2 pages

SMC 1939

On the back of a railway timetable, Roosevelt writes the wire instructing the head of the facility in which McKinley was taken after being shot to keep Roosevelt appraised of the president's condition. On the other side of the page, a historian wrote Roosevelt's reaction to the news of McKinley's shooting, as well as his reaction to being told McKinley would survive.
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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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On His First Day in Office,

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2051

Masking his true feelings about his predecessor, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, and twenty-eight years Eisenhower's junior, thanks him for a smooth transition of power.
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