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Manuscripts (70)

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Chaim Weizmann on the Assassination of Russian Pogrom Organizer Plehve: A Pity He Didn't Die Years Ago

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1585

Russian Interior Minister Vyacheslav Plehve, a notorious pogrom organizer and tormentor of the Jews, had been killed the week before by a bomb. Upon hearing of his death, Chaim Weizmann only wished it had happened sooner.
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Mark Twain and Olivia Langdon: Twain Writes Ecstatically On The Pursuit Of His Future Wife

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1852

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Mark Twain Mourns an

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 2377

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Twain Asks His Young

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 2111

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A Last Thing Signed: John F. Kennedy Autographs a Dallas Newspaper on the Morning of His Murder There

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 2168

An edition of The Dallas Morning News signed by President John F. Kennedy on the morning of his assassination. Kennedy was shot at 12:30, making it very likely that this was the last thing he ever signed.
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Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Ball , 1861: Invitation Printed By, and Naming as a Ball Manager, Adolphus S. Solomons

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 2367

Rare invitation to Abraham Lincoln's inaugural ball, prominently featuring the name of the Jewish manager and printer of the invitation, Adolphus S. Solomons, twice.
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A Rare 1879 Reprint of

Signed Book

1 page

SMC 2384

A rare inscribed reprint of Innocents Abroad inscribed by Twain to his wife, Livy. In the past thirty years, only one other book transcribed by Twain to his wife has appeared. This double-volume edition is premium; bound in morocco and gilt.
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President McKinley’s Secretary Cancels McKinley's Engagements

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1861

McKinley’s devoted secretary, George Cortelyou regrets to cancel President McKinley's appearance at Harvard University, "owing to Mrs. McKinley's serious illness."
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Former First Lady Frances Cleveland Reports Ailing Grover Cleveland is

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 2018

Although Grover Cleveland seems to be on the mend, with his "temperature, pulse & respiration" now normal, Frances Cleveland is still a bit distraught over her husband's slow recovery. He still has "trouble with his gut" and is perturbed that he's not gaining strength. It appears he's "breaking up generally." Cleveland would live for another seven years.
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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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Signed Photo of Lyndon Johnson Taking the Oath of Office Inscribed to the Photographer

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 2076

The iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; inscribed to Cecil Stoughton, the photographer.
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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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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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Olivia Clemens Quotes “Mr. Clemens” - Mark Twain - About a Phrase in “Following the Equator”

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1670

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Mark Twain on Ralph Waldo Emerson: His Grammar is Like Gravel in Bread

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1673

Mark Twain gently Emerson's prose as being like "gravel in the bread," while at the same time complimenting Laura Wright Benjamin on her husband, William Wright, whose nom de plume was Dan de Quille.
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James Buchanan Teasingly Laments His

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1676

James Buchanan, a confirmed bachelor, teasingly laments his "usual hard fate when ladies are the question" – having missed a social call – and comments on a pending marriage.
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Mark Twain on His Book

Autograph Letter Signed

8 pages

SMC 1684

A long and flirtatious letter from the young bachelor Mark Twain to Emma Beach, primarily about their recently shared “Quaker City” excursion to Europe and the Holy Land. He discusses, amongst other things, a lecture he's been up all night writing, and how the photos taken of him in Egypt are a terrible likeness.
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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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President John F. Kennedy Recalls Happy Palm Beach Memories With an Old Irish Friend

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1740

President John F. Kennedy writes to eight-year-old Aine Tubridy to thank her for her picture of a painting he made of the Kennedy compound at Palm Beach, Florida.
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First Lady Edith Roosevelt, Two Weeks After McKinley's Death:

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1778

Two weeks after President McKinley's death and Theodore Roosevelt's assumption of the presidency, First Lady Edith Roosevelt thanks a friend in Boston for her warm wishes, and confides in her that "Life does not seem very simple just now."
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Benjamin Harrison: The Earliest Known Example of a Typewritten Presidential Letter

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1818

This 1889 letter to a book bindery owner in Philadelphia, thanking him for the gift of an olive wood box which he had made especially for the new President, is the earliest known example of a presidential typewritten letter.
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McKinley's Last Tour: Cortelyou Thanks the Mayor of San Francisco for His Help

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 116

President McKinley's secretary, George Cortelyou thanks the Mayor of San Francisco on behalf of the McKinleys for all the help they received when Mrs. McKinley had taken ill out West.
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Custer:

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 126

General Custer writes to his friend, Judge Christiancy, to share with him a secret: He will be returning to Monroe, Michigan in a few months to be married. Inadvertently foreshadowing his death and Libbie's misfortune, Custer jokingly tells Christiancy that Libbie, who would "unite her destinies" with Custer's, is "fortunate, or unfortunate."
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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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Former President William Howard Taft Rejoices in Averting Another Run:

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 134

William Howard Taft is relieved to finally be a private citizen and does not seek to be reelected to the office of the presidency.
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Mary Todd Lincoln Issues 1865 Invitation to Presidential Box At Ford's Theatre

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 229

Two months before Lincoln's assassination, Mary Todd Lincoln invites some of Washington's most famous socialites to Ford's Theatre to watch the brother-in-law of John Wilkes Booth perform.
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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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Libbie Custer Makes a Secret Plea to Aid the Widows of Captain Yates, Lt. Calhoun, and Enlisted Men

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 291

In order to maintain their dignity, Libbie Custer secretly petitions for funds for the widows and children of fallen soldiers at Little Bighorn.
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Prime Minister Winston Churchill on Orde Wingate: A Man of Genius Who Might Have Become a Man of Destiny

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 293

On his way to the second Quebec conference, Winston Churchill remembers that a year ago, he, Orde, and Lorna Wingate were on their way to the first conference. Churchill offers his condolences to the newly-widowed Lorna.
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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 to Orde Wingate's Widow About a Memorial for Wingate at Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 374

Writing to Lorna Wingate, the young widow of Orde Wingate, the British champion of the Jewish Zionist cause, Chaim Weizmann advises her about the political necessities in undertaking a memorial to her late husband at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
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Chaim Weizmann in 1943:

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 376

Writing during World War Two, Chaim Weizmann assures Lorna Wingate that her husband Orde is on the mend after a bout of typhoid. In the interim, he comments that many things are happening in Palestine that would provoke the British, though he hopes they will not allow themselves to be provoked. It would be "nothing short of a miracle if we do get something out of this war," he ruefully remarks.
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Chaim Weizmann Writes to Orde Wingate's Widow About Wingate's Death and Memorial

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 377

Chaim Weizmann writes to Orde Wingate's widow, Lorna, about the upcoming dates for a memorial service for her husband in the Great Synagogues in London and Jerusalem.
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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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Chaim Weizmann on the Jewish Brigade and Jewish State in 1944

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 379

Chaim Weizmann writes to Lorna Wingate, the widow of Major-General Orde Wingate, to tell her that the British government finally approved the creation of the Jewish Brigade. Weizmann's feelings are mixed, though, as Wingate - who died five months earlier - would have made this Brigade "a powerful force."
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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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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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Josephine Earp, Wyatt Earp’s Jewish Widow, Admits Her Destitution to Earp’s Biographer

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 618

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Homesick General Eisenhower Writes of a WWII Visit to Jerusalem and Levant at Christmas

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 708

Homesick Eisenhower writes to his wife to thank her for Christmas gifts and to express his longing to see her. He omits his recent promotion as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces.
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JFK’s Drafted Letter to Medgar Evers' Widow, Myrlie, on Evers' Assassination

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 712

John F. Kennedy writes a condolence letter to Medgar Evers's widow. Four hours before Evers was shot in front of his wife and children, Kennedy had given a televised speech calling for an end to racial discrimination.
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Theodore Herzl Writes a Condolence Letter, Seemingly in Connection With Anti-Semitic Attacks

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 729

Theodor Herzl writes a condolence letter amidst an outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks beginning in Vienna, and sweeping through Austria.
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Max Nordau Accepts Invitation to Contribute His

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 754

Max Nordau agrees to help a Mrs. E. Woodruff with her book, vowing to send his "literary might" shortly.
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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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David Ben-Gurion on the Pioneer Generations and the Need for U.S. Immigration

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 769

David Ben Gurion tells his correspondent that Israel was founded by pioneers but now needs immigrants from free countries, most notably the United States, to come and populate it.
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Age Is Not an Impediment to Visiting Israel, David Ben-Gurion Argues

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 771

David Ben-Gurion encourages Ida Camelhor Silverman, an eighty-six year old Hadassah officer, to visit Israel, citing the Biblical Sarah and Moses Montefiore as examples of people who travelled to Israel at advanced ages. Two years after receiving this letter, Silverman actually settled in Israel, where she would die two years after making Israel her home.
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Albert Einstein Advises a Young Refugee From Germany, Then Controlled By What He Called

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 796

Einstein encourages a young German immigrant to stay in California, as it offers more opportunities than Palestine; he advises against returning to Europe, from where, as he put it, "no good can come." He especially warns against Germany, controlled by "The Hitler Gang."
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Autograph Letter of Astronaut Judy Resnik-Killed in the Challenger Disaster-About Autographs

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 819

Judy Resnik, the second American woman, and second Jewish person in space, responds to requests for autographs and photographs.
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Signed Photo of Challenger Astronaut Judy Resnik-Second American Woman, and First American Jew, in Space

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 820

Signed photo of doomed Challenger astronaut Judy Resnik-the second American woman, and the first American Jew, in space
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Rare Gerald Ford Presidential Letter Written After His

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 876

Defeated President Gerald Ford writes to Congresswoman Edith Green of Oregon to thank her for her support during the difficult loss of the presidency.
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President William McKinley Writes to the Widow of His Vice President and Dear Friend, Mrs. Hobart

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 915

In this letter, written four months after the death of his vice-president and dear friend, Garret Hobart, President McKinley thanks Mrs. Tuttle-Hobart for the gift of fruit, and for the wonderful time spent together with her and her son.
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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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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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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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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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Millard Fillmore, Perusing

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1072

Upon receiving a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin, President Millard Fillmore reflects on the "vexing" problem of slavery, commenting almost prophetically, "Who can penetrate the dark future and say whether this ever disturbing subject may not send this Union asunder," and confesses that he "can not look without apprehension to the future."
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Abraham Lincoln's Inscription on a Photograph to Lucy Speed, Who Had Gifted Him a Bible

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1097

President Abraham Lincoln expresses his gratitude to Mrs. Lucy Speed, the mother of his best friend when he was in his twenties. Mrs. Speed had given the younger melancholy Abraham Lincoln a Bible and instructed him to read it and adopt its precepts; help would follow.
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Lucretia Garfield On How Her Husband's Portents at Chicago Convention Foreshadowed His

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1150

Lucretia Garfield, President Garfield's widow, writes two months to the day after his death, still in disbelief. She shares with her correspondent that "the spirit of prophecy fell upon" her late husband, with many of his utterances now coming back to her as eerily foreshadowing his own demise.
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Vice President-Elect Chester A. Arthur Accepts Congratulations on Winning His First and Last Election

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1155

Chester A. Arthur accepts congratulations on having won his first, and last, election: that of Vice-President of the United States. Arthur would be Vice President for six months before assuming the presidency on the occasion of Garfield's assassination in 1881.
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About to Marry, President Grover Cleveland Longs to Live Away from the White House

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1162

President Cleveland writes to his fiance Frances Folsom about many overwhelming social aspects of being in the White House, and longs to live away from it with her in a "small house" like normal people.
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Grover Cleveland, the Only President to Be Married in the White House, Writes His Bride About Wedding

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1164

Love letter from President Grover Cleveland to his secret fiance, Frances Folsom, outlining every detail of their upcoming nuptials in the White House.
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Grover Cleveland, First President to Marry in the White House, Handwrites an Invitation to His Wedding

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1165

President Grover Cleveland invites his Postmaster to his wedding the following Wednesday, with a hand-written invitation.
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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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President Benjamin Harrison is

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1238

President Benjamin Harrison writes to his aunt, and tells her that with not a soul in the White House but himself, it is "very lonesome."
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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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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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Woodrow Wilson on the Emotional Impact WWI Has Had on Him - Which Led to His Devastating Stroke

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1321

Woodrow Wilson confides that he doesn't read anything pertaining to World War One that "renews too deeply the emotions of wartime," as he is "too much affected and too upset by it."
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A Rare Original Watercolor by John F. Kennedy of the Kennedy Palm Beach Home in 1955

Signed Drawing

1 page

SMC 1452

Likely one of Kennedy's last watercolors, inscribed and gifted to Dot Tubridy, a close family friend of the Kennedys.
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Christa McAuliffe, a Teacher, Writes About Her Excitement Going Into Space on the Ill-Fated Challenger

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1508

Christa McAuliffe was the first civilian selected to join astronauts on a space mission. A school teacher, she was planning to give lessons from the spacecraft, to be broadcast live; she would show her students how astronauts ate, slept, and lived on the space shuttle. This letter, written five months before the tragic live broadcast explosion of the Challenger, reflects McAuliffe's enthusiasm for her mission.
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Abraham Lincoln's Scarce Reference to Deaths of Mother and Sister, With Accompanying Poem About Memory

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1553

In all of Abraham Lincoln's surviving letters, he only mentions the death of his mother twice, and the loss of his sister once; both are mentioned here. Lincoln also includes a poem he wrote on the occasion of returning to his home state twenty years after he departed it.
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