Hundreds of Historic Manuscripts. Thousands More Being Digitized.

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Topic

Human Aspect

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    Manuscripts (447)

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    Rare Union Soldier's Account Of Ambush Resulting In Death Of Jewish Colonel Marcus Spiegel

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 2456

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    Superlative Battlefield Letter From Bermuda Hundred

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 103

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    Jimmy Carter Condolence Letter To Widow Of Marine Killed In Failed 1980 Iranian Hostage Rescue

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1470

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    Lincoln Appoints Jewish Officer, E.M. Joel, to Serve on General Blair’s Staff

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 571

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    Simon Wolf Writes President Arthur  About Getting His Old Job, as Justice of the Peace, Back

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 381

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    Governor Hayes Responds to Having a Jewish Namesake

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1210

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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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    Harry Woodring Seeks Reappointment As Secretary Of War

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1405

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    Roosevelt Advises Scapegoated Woodring On How To Handle Negative Press Following Pearl Harbor

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1382

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    Third Term President Roosevelt Writes to Harry Woodring:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1380

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    Roosevelt Responds To Woodring Amidst The Intense Congressional Interest In Woodring's Resignation

    Typed Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1377

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    President Roosevelt Accepts With

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1375

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    On His Last Day In Office, James Monroe Writes His Bank, Trying To Make Sense Of His Account

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 935

    James Monroe’s Major Accomplishments, What He’s Known For, & His Last Day In Office
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    Grover Cleveland Worries He Cannot Bring His Baby Into Recently Quarantined White House After His Inauguration

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1967

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    Grover & Frances Cleveland: Cleveland Writes To His Bride-To-Be About Their Wedding

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1163

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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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    Abraham Lincoln's Prayer To

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2509

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    The Baltimore Plot and Attempted Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 2024

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    Napoleon, Failing To Conquer Palestine, Orders The Ransoming Of Prisoners: August 1799

    Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 236

    After sustaining massive losses in his campaign on the Holy Land, Napoleon attempts to raise some revenue by ransoming off the hostages in his possession.
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    President-Elect Harding Refers to His Upcoming Term as

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1550

    President-Elect Harding refers to his upcoming presidential term as "imprisonment in the White House," while expressing envy that his correspondent is going to Honolulu. Harding also informs him that the upcoming inauguration will be a very pared-down affair.
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    Robert E. Lee's Famous Letter Declining to Furlough, As a Rule, Jewish Confederate Troops for the High Holidays

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 2494

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    Truman on the Press

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 1410

    Truman complains to Acheson that Republican papers across the country were coddling Eisenhower and serving as “mouthpieces” for Joe McCarthy, calling it the "age of hysteria."
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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 Seeks to Protect His Legacy

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1419

    Former President Harry Truman writes to his dear friend and former Secretary of State Dean Acheson to push back against historians and communists about what really happened in the Truman White House.
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    Truman Accepts the Resignation of His

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1407

    Truman tells his newly-resigned Secretary of State Dean Acheson that he was more courageous and judicious than Thomas Jefferson and William H. Seward.
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    Harry Truman, From His Place of

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 693

    In this letter to Acheson, Truman remarks that he wanted to “punch the publisher” who wrote negatively of Dean Acheson and George Marshall, his friends and former secretaries of state. He chastises the “so called ‘free press’” and bemoans having to enduring criticisms while administering the “terrible responsibility” of the presidency.
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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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    Truman on the Recognition of the Jewish State and the

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 370

    Two days into the Israeli War of Independence, Harry Truman thanks a rabbi for his offer to assist the President, and refers to the fledgling state's situation as "very dark."
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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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    “Big Bill” Taft, Happily Golfing, Relates His Post-Presidential Loss of Eighty Pounds

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1286

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    On the Eve of Rebellion, Pierce Still Defends the Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 964

    Franklin Pierce, who signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act while president, thus enabling the spread of slavery, and pitting the North against the South, doubles down on his decision six years later, on the eve of the Civil War.
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    Pierce Defends the Democratic Party as Non-Sectional, Wonders About the Outcome of the 1860 Election

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 1809

    Pierce insists that the Democratic party is united over the issue of slavery months before the presidential election of 1860 causes the party to split into Northern and Southern Democrats, respectively.
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    Lincoln Family Friend Edward Jonas Recalls Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 398

    Edward Jonas recalls his interactions with Abraham Lincoln during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. Though he was a young boy at the time, he recounted how Lincoln exchanged stories with him and listened extremely attentively to him.
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    Camille Pissarro's Autographed Letter in Support of Emile Zola Amidst the Dreyfus Affair

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 919

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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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    Saul Bellow on Kissinger, Sadat, and Writing

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1565

    In Jerusalem, and writing the journal which was to become "To Jerusalem and Back: A Personal Account," Bellow muses about his experiences in that city: the various and interesting people he is meeting, what he is thinking, and passing along what he has heard about two of great figures of that time and place – Henry Kissinger and Anwar Sadat.
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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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    George Washington Describes His Daily Routine At Mount Vernon After 8 Years Of Neglect During His Presidency

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1556

    Two months after retiring, former President George Washington gives an account of his daily life at Mt. Vernon.
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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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    Harry Truman Declares

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 646

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    Palestine, Truman Says, is a “Matter of Considerable Disturbance” to be Determined by U.N.

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 686

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    President Harry Truman Refers to Life in the White House as

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 690

    Truman, like other presidents, conceives of the role and constraints of the presidency as being like a "jail." Here, Truman explicitly calls the presidency a jail, referring to his inability to go on a trip to Panama with a friend.
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    President Harry Truman Writes about the Assassination Attempt on His Life Just the Day Before

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 691

    The day after a second assassination attempt in November of 1950, President Harry Truman expresses his fury at the stupidity of the would-be assassins, and mourns the two guards killed.
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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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    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Looks Forward to Receiving Books on Judaism

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 925

    After lunching with Lincoln biographer and Jewish activist Emmanuel Hertz, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. tells Hertz that he looks forward to receiving the latter's brother's book on Judaism, as well as the Jewish Publication Society's latest translation of the Bible.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Has Received Jewish Books and is Reading Them With

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 926

    Having received the Jewish books from Emmanuel Hertz, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. follows up and tells him that he's already set to reading them with "the greatest of interest."
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    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Lists Favorite Parts from

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 927

    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. avidly read Joseph Hertz's book about Jewish thought, and lists for Hertz's brother Emanuel, his favorite passages.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Tells Emanuel Hertz He Will Always Try to Justify His Good Opinion

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 929

    Having lunched together and corresponded for some half dozen years, Roosevelt tells Hertz it will always be his earnest endeavor to justify his good opinion.
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    President James Madison Tracks Down His Shipment, Seized in the Embargo, of 114 Gallons of Brandy

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 932

    Here President Madison writes to the Collector of the Port of New York, David Gelston, that a pipe of brandy (114 gallons) was sent him to him but "carried into England," resulting in the condemnation of the offending vessel. The brandy, being "neutral cargo," was saved. Now Madison asks that the brandy be sent to him in Washington.
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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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    Rare Letter of John Tyler as Vice President Recommending a Consul to Galveston, Texas

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 952

    Under Tyler's Presidency, Texas was acquired as the twenty eighth state. In this letter, written as Vice President, Tyler recommends someone to consul, as Texas was, at the time, a foreign country.
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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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    Franklin Pierce on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill and the Prelude to Civil War

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 961

    President Pierce fears that if the Kansas-Nebraska Bill-which granted the States the right to decide on slavery-would not pass, Civil War would ensue.
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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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    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 Rutherford B. Hayes Salutes Service of U.S. Commissioner of Education John Eaton

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1198

    Hayes salutes the service of his Civil War comrade-in-arms in "the old 23rd," Brigadier General John Eaton Jr., as the United States Commissioner of Education.
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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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    President Rutherford B. Hayes Gives Recipe for Allegedly

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1206

    President Rutherford B. Hayes claims that the Roman punch served in his White House contains no alcohol.
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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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    An Eerie Prescience: James Garfield Finds a

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1216

    President James Garfield, who would be assassinated, or mortally wounded nearly a year to the day he wrote this letter, eerily finds a "streak of sadness" in his nomination for the Presidency. Garfield was shot less than four months into his term; he lingered for seventy-nine days before finally succumbing to his wounds.
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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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    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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    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 Pens Congratulatory Letter on White House Card: Lauds Utica Public Library

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1251

    President Theodore Roosevelt salutes Utica philanthropist Frederick T. Proctor and the Public Library he supported, on the excellent work it is doing, and wishes it good luck.
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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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    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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    Theodore Roosevelt on the

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1257

    Theodore Roosevelt, who had recently created the Progressive party when he lost the Republican party nomination to Taft, takes stock.
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    Former President Theodore Roosevelt Writes About Taking Books on His Upcoming Safari to Africa

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1274

    Former President Theodore Roosevelt tells Samuel Crothers that he has limited space for books while on safari, but is bringing Crothers's A Gentle Reader.
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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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    FDR Assures Fired, and Fired Up, Isolationist Secretary of War: No War Unless Monroe Doctrine is Breached

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1376

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, having just fired his Secretary of War, Harry Woodring, responds jovially to the latter's resignation letter. Roosevelt assures Woodring that the United States will maintain a non-interventionist policy with regards to World War II.
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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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    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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    Hiding Two Deadly Illnesses, Franklin D. Roosevelt Dreams of a World Organization for Peace: The UN

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1383

    In the weeks before succumbing to illnesses, Franklin Delano Roosevelt writes this letter, in which he claims that the necessary solution to warfare is an active participation in a peace organization.
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    Truman, About to Implement the Truman Doctrine in Greece, Calls Greek-American Politicians

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1401

    President Truman, who was about to deploy the Truman Doctrine in Greece in order to fight the first proxy Cold War against a communist takeover of that country, expresses reservations about appointing a Greek-American to oversee the distribution of funds to anti-communist factions in Greece.
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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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    William Howard Taft Confesses He's

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1291

    A deflated Taft, who had recently finished third in the elections as a sitting President, appreciates the invitation to a specific event, but regretfully must decline this, and all others, at the moment, until he settles into his new role as a university lecturer. He especially regrets it, as he fears that these invitations will cease as he fades "away into obscurity."
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    President-Elect Howard Taft Qualifies the Thought of a Four Year Term:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1292

    President-Elect William H. Taft informs an acquaintance that since he is about to assume the presidency, he must remain in the United States for at least four years, if he lives.
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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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    Woodrow Wilson Lobbies for Ratification of the Treaty of Versailles - A Matter of Gravest Consequence

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1313

    This letter is an example of Woodrow Wilson's attempt to court Republican senators to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, of which he was one of the chief negotiators; Congress refused to ratify it.
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    Woodrow Wilson Explains That He Wouldn't, and Couldn't, Pardon Atlantic City Boss Kuehnle

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1319

    As Governor of New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson brought down crime boss Louis Kuehne. When asked if he would pardon him, Wilson replied that he couldn't, and even if he could, he would not.
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    Woodrow Wilson on How the Bodies of America's WWI Dead Are Handled Prior to Eventual Re-Burial in the US

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1320

    President Woodrow Wilson explains the process by which every fallen soldier is tagged and temporarily buried until their bodies can be brought to their final resting place in the United States.
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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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    President Harding, About to Leave on the Trip During Which He'll Die, Makes Plans to Meet a King

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1326

    President Warren Harding writes to arrange a royal visit from King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy upon his return from the trip he was embarking on. The meeting would never happen, as Harding would die on the trip.
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    President Warren G. Harding: Possibly the Last Letter He Wrote from the White House

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1327

    In this eerie letter, in all probability the last that Harding wrote from the White House, he discusses a memorial proposed to be erected south of the cemetery in Marion, OH. A few weeks later, Harding would be dead, and the memorial erected to him would be in the precise location of the monument he discusses here.
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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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    President Warren G. Harding: He Won’t

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1336

    President Warren Harding promises his Solicitor General, James Montgomery Beck, that he would not "overdo it" on a trip across the continent, the stress of which would ultimately kill him.
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    Vice President Calvin Coolidge: His New Job is of Little Responsibility But He's Kept Busy All the Same

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1339

    Vice President Calvin Coolidge tells the Archbishop of Boston that though his job carries little responsibility, the demands on his time are enormous.
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    Scarce President Calvin Coolidge Autographed Letter Signed as President

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1342

    A scarce autograph letter from Coolidge's presidency, thanking a retiring Republican congressman for his service, and wishing him well.
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    Former President Herbert Hoover, at Seventy-Five, Confesses His Hope to Make Ninety - Which He Did

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1345

    Former President Herbert Hoover congratulates F.A. Seiberling - the founder of Goodyear Tire - on his ninetieth birthday, and hopes that he, too, will be as fortunate to make it to ninety.
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    Rare Herbert Hoover Letter as President:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1347

    One of six or seven autographed handwritten letters by Herbert Hoover as President. Here, he is conscious of the rarity of his letters, and playfully writes this one, his quota for the year, he jokes.
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    Important People, Hoover Explains, Don't Have Time to Write Longhand - Or Like Their Letters Being Sold

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1352

    Herbert Hoover explains that important men neither have the time to write letters by longhand, nor do they like the "trafficking" of their letters.
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    Franklin D. Roosevelt, as President-Elect, Recognizes the

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1359

    Franklin D. Roosevelt acknowledges not only the "grave responsibility," but the "great opportunities" in his new role as President.
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    Franklin D. Roosevelt Thanks His Secretary of War for a

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1370

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt expresses his gratitude to his Secretary of War, Harry Woodring, for the gift of a volume of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
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    President Franklin D. Roosevelt Adjudicates an Intergovernmental Turf War

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1372

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had established the National Resources Board as an advisory board to the President regarding "physical, social, governmental, and economic aspects of public policies for the development and use of land, water, and other national resources," now has to step in and prevent a quarrel between the Board and the Army Engineer Corp, who were locked in battle over funding.
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    President Franklin D. Roosevelt Fires His Isolationist Secretary of War During WWII

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1373

    After forgiving his old and dear friend many missteps, Franklin Roosevelt finally fires Harry Woodring as Secretary of War.
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    President Pierce Invites a Famous Presbyterian Divine to Visit the White House

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 965

    President Franklin Pierce invites the prominent Philadelphia cleric, Henry A. Boardman, to visit at the White House, "that we may make some time under this roof a period of enjoyment." The Pierces, who lost their last surviving child in a train crash two years earlier, were still in mourning, and Pierce hoped Boardman's visit might bring some comfort to them.
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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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    Candidate Franklin Pierce Writes About Nathaniel Hawthorne's Campaign Biography of Him

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 967

    An agitated candidate Pierce writes to the publisher of Nathaniel Hawthorne's campaign biography of him, demanding that the West and Southwest be "liberally supplied" with "Hawthorne's book" as "the sales which are to be made must be made promptly."
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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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    Buchanan Approves Abraham Lincoln’s Ordering Fremont to Rescind His Emancipation Proclamation

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 984

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    Joshua Chamberlain and William Seward Assist the Jaffa-Adams Colonists in 1867

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 985

    Three weeks before many of the stranded colonists would leave Jaffa with Mark Twain on the Quaker City, Governor of Maine Joshua Chamberlain here passes on Secretary of State William Seward's interest in extending aide to 156 American Christian colonists in Jaffa.
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    President James Buchanan Trusts Providence to Help Him Choose a Cabinet

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 986

    President James Buchanan accepts a minister's advice to choose his cabinet slowly and wisely, and adds that he trusts "a kind Providence will bestow upon me wisdom from on high to enable to choose the proper men for the proper places."
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    James Buchanan, Ill With Dysentry Before His Inauguration, Declines Jefferson Davis's Invitation to Dine

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 988

    James Buchanan, suffering from dysentery, regrets to decline Jefferson Davis's invitation to dinner.
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    President James Buchanan, Strained in the Summer of 1860, Writes He Hasn't Time for His Friends

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 989

    President James Buchanan reassures his friend that although he scarcely has time for personal correspondence, he "cordially reciprocates" towards Theseus Apolion Chesney "the friendly feelings which dictated" his letter.
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    The Eyewitness Account of Abraham Lincoln's Assassination by the Physician Who Treated Him at the Scene

    Autograph Letter Signed

    8 pages

    SMC 1004

    Charles Leale, a surgeon and first responder to Lincoln's shooting, gives a detailed summary of the night of the assassination to a friend.
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    Account of Execution of Deserters at Beverly Ford Mentions  Rabbi Praying With One of the Condemned Men

    Autograph Letter Signed

    5 pages

    SMC 1026

    Captain Jacob Winans writes to his father about the execution of deserters at Beverly Ford, mentioning the presence of a rabbi to pray with one of the convicted soldiers.
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    Breathtaking Detailed Eyewitness Account of the Execution of Deserters at Beverly Ford

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1027

    This eyewitness account details the chronology of events, or protocol of the execution of deserters at Beverly Ford. Those executed had with them the clergyman of their faith. They "were accompanied by a Catholic priest, a Jewish Rabbi and a Methodist preacher."
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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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    James K. Polk Gives Orders for a Fireproof Celebration for the Battle of Cerro Gordo in Washington

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1052

    Here Polk-mindful of the dangers of unattended candles and oil lamps-gives orders not to illuminate public offices in honor of General Scott’s victory at the Battle of Cerro Gordo.
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    Confined for Two Years to the White House, President James K. Polk Tries to Plan an Out of Town Visit

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1053

    President James K. Polk, in desperate need of a respite from the White House, politely declines his friend's invitation to stay at his house in New York, citing the inconvenience of having the President stay in a private home.
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    Dark-Horse James K. Polk Expresses Surprise at His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1054

    Here, James K. Polk repeats the astonishment he expressed in a June missive regarding his candidacy. He reitirates his pleasure in being the instrument for bringing unity to the Democratic party, and hopes to effect "so great a good."
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    Polk, Surprised at His Candidacy, Declares the Presidency Too Important an Office to be Sought or Declined

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1055

    James K. Polk, everyone's second choice, astonishingly won the Democratic nomination. Polk here is forthcoming that his candidacy was the result of a concession, adding that the office of the presidency is too important to be sought or declined.
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    President-Elect James K. Polk Anxiously Queries His Tailor About New Clothes for His Inauguration

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1056

    President-Elect Polk anxiously queries his tailor about a cloak and suit of clothes – assumedly to be worn at his inauguration - that has yet to arrive. He asks that they be sent as soon as they are ready. He would leave for Washington less than three weeks later.
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    A Millard Fillmore Letter Written on the Day of President Lincoln's Assassination

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1060

    At the close of the Civil War, on the day that President Lincoln would be assassinated, Millard Fillmore writes to the Historical Society of Buffalo about sending them a historical sketch. A few weeks later, he would address the Society on the topic of Lincoln's assassination.
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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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    President Fillmore Arranges to Attend Opening of the Railroad Line from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1062

    The railroad connecting the Atlantic to the Great Lakes was a cause for national celebration. It would extend the web of the railway network, contributing to the industrial boom in the United States, enlarging the markets while reducing shipping and production costs.
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    President Fillmore Makes an Appointment to See Governor Gibbs

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1064

    President Millard Fillmore writes he regrets not having seen Governor Gibbs the day before; looked for him that day; and will be happy to see him in the evening.
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    On His Last Day in Office, the Bibliophilic Millard Fillmore Sends Thanks for a Book

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1066

    Here the bibliophilic Fillmore, whose time in the White House was best spent, by all accounts, building its library, thanks a prominent Albany publisher for “a copy of that indispensable ‘Manual’ to every New Yorker, ‘The Red Book,’” on his last day in office.
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    Millard Fillmore On the Fugitive Slave and Kansas-Nebraska Acts:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1069

    Though he detested slavery, Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens of Northern free states to return slaves to their Southern owners. He was denounced by politicians who four years later voted for the same rule of law to apply in the Kansas-Nebraska act. Here, he wishes to expose their hypocrisy.
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    Millard Fillmore, Looks Forward, With Relief, To the End of the 1856 Election

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1070

    Millard Fillmore tells a correspondent that the very probable prospect of him losing the election would bring relief and more leisure time.
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    Having Ascended to the Presidency Just a Week Before, Millard Fillmore Orders a New Black Hat

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1071

    Eight days after President Taylor died and Millard Fillmore went from being vice president to president, the latter, taking his new role seriously, orders a new hat.
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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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    James Buchanan Defends His “Public Conduct” Prior to the Outbreak of the Civil War

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1075

    James Buchanan, consistently ranked as one of the worst presidents, thanks a rare admirer for vindication.
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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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    Abraham Lincoln Reacts to Attempted Jail-Break of Confederate POWs on Johnson Island

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1090

    This note from Lincoln to the Naval Secretary Gideon Welles instructs him to get a firsthand report about the infamous attempted prison break of Confederate POWs on Johnson's Island.
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    Hannibal Hamlin Calls for Making Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday a National Day of Observance

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1105

    Hannibal Hamlin, who served as Abraham Lincoln's first Vice President, regretfully declines an invitation to speak at an event honoring the late president's birthday, but calls for it to be nationally recognized as a holiday, much like Washington's birthday.
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    Oliver Wendell Holmes: At Fort Stevens, Abraham Lincoln Was Forced to Duck From Enemy Fire

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1106

    Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes confirms that during the Civil War, when he was serving as a captain, President Abraham Lincoln came to visit the troops at Fort Stevens, during which they were fired upon. This was the only time in American history a sitting president has exposed himself to combat. President Lincoln was forced to duck from enemy fire.
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    Robert Lincoln Witnesses Assassinations of Three Presidents

    Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1108

    When asked if Chester Arthur should be kept under heavy guard, Robert Todd Lincoln responds that if a deranged person wants to kill the president, "it is impossible to thoroughly guard against those classes of people."
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    Carl Sandburg: Walt Whitman

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1110

    Carl Sandburg, a poet who won acclaim for his four-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, tells Morris Lychenheim,one of Whitman’s last surviving friends, that Walt Whitman "strolls in and out of the pages regularly."
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    Statesman, Political Exile, Attorney, and Queen's Counsel, Judah Benjamin Arranges a Meeting

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1118

    Judah P. Benjamin, the Jewish former statesman of different roles in the Confederacy, relocated to England and became a successful barrister there. Four years before he wrote this letter, he obtained the rank of Queen's Counsel, and in order to save his correspondent the trouble, offers to call on her at home, rather than in his offices at the Temple.
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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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    American Civil War Union General George B. McClellan's Antisemitic Letter

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1124

    Returning from Germany to the United States in the 1870s, General George McClellan speaks disparagingly of the Jewish people on board, and his success in distancing himself from the "children of Jacob."
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    A Union Officer in the Field Describes the Reaction to News of Abraham Lincoln's Assassination

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1128

    Here, an Ohio lieutenant, serving in Alabama, describes how the troops there received, and took, "news of the shocking murder of our president."
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    On His Penultimate Day in Office, President Ulysses S. Grant Announces His Intention to Travel the Globe

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1142

    Just before setting off on a two-year world tour, Grant arranges for bank dividends to be sent to his son and namesake, U.S. Grant, Jr. so that the latter can manage his affairs during the world tour.
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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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    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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    Chester A. Arthur Laments the

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1151

    President Chester A. Arthur apologizes for his delay in sending an autograph, attributing it to the "never ending and still beginning pressure" of the presidency.
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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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    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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    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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    After His

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 715

    President Kennedy thanks General Landon, the Commander in Chief of the United States Air Force in Europe for the "magnificent way" in which the General ensured that Kennedy's visit to Germany was a success.
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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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    Jack London on

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 719

    Jack London tells a fan and possible relative that London is a common Jewish surname and he has often been approached by Jewish people inquiring if he is related to the Jewish contingent.
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    Frank Lloyd Wright on

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 725

    Frank Lloyd Wright ostensibly responds to Lewis Mumford's book, The Conduct of Life, recently sent to him – and refers, obliquely, to Mumford's criticism of the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
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    Frank Lloyd Wright, Infuriated by His

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 726

    Frank Lloyd Wright, infuriated by "obituaries" of his work, and deeply resentful of the "European invasion" of ideas, vows to make a comeback for the sake of architecture itself.
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    Orville Wright Sets the Record Straight About the First Flight

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 728

    Twenty seven years after making history at Kitty Hawk, Orville Wright sets the record straight about three questions surrounding the first flight.
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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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    Theodor Herzl Sets Out to Establish the First Zionist Congress and Vows

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 731

    Theodor Herzl tries to garner support for his vision of a Jewish State amongst the Hasidic Jews of Europe. Herzl sets forth his ecumenical vision, where Jews would be free to practise (or to not practise) their religion in their own way, with no "falling out over matters of religion." Herzl mentions the first Zionist Congress, confident that the Jews will obtain their ancestral homeland of Palestine.
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    Theodore Herzl Admits to Exhaustion But Swears to Continue

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 732

    Theodore Herzl admits to exhaustion but vows to continue the "great campaign" for as long as he is able.
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    Theodor Herzl Writes of a Matter Unknown, He Says, Even to His Editor, Amidst the Dreyfus Affair

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 736

    Theodore Herzl writes excitedly about a matter unknown to his editor, Edward Baher. He doesn't want his correspondent to lose one day on this scoop, so Herzl returns his manuscript immediately. Given the date of the letter, it's very likely that it has to do with Dreyfus's having just been brought back from Devil’s Island to face a second trial in Paris.
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    Thedore Herzl Considers an American Lecture Tour

    Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 739

    Theodor Herzl considers, and ultimately rejects, a lecture tour in the United States.
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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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    Max Nordau Exchanges Photos, in English, With an Admirer

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 759

    Max Nordau had put forth the idea of "Muscular Judaism" at the 1898 Zionist Congress. His vision was one of men who were physically and morally fit. Here, he exchanges photographs with Hubert Carleton, the proponent of the Episcopalian version of his vision, called "Men and Religion Forward."
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    David Ben-Gurion Compares, Favorably, the Fledgling IDF to George Washington's Revolutionary Army

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 766

    At a critical juncture, when Israel was vastly outnumbered, Ben-Gurion compares the fledgling IDF to "an army that had been established by the owner of an estate in Virginia." Though Ben-Gurion compares the IDF to George Washington's Revolutionary Army and wishes to learn from it, he also claims that the Jewish people's situation is "different from any other nation."
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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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    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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    David Ben-Gurion Asks a Manuscript Collector About a 1945 Photograph, At the Start of the Six-Day War

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 774

    A day into the Six-Day War, David Ben Gurion asks manuscript collector and Lincoln scholar Justin Turner for a photo.
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    Chaim N. Bialik on the Jewish Persecutions in the Diaspora and the Determination to Make a Home in Zion

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 782

    Writing in 1934, Bialik affirms that the latest persecutions of the Jewish people necessitate the creation of a Jewish state.
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    Albert Einstein on the

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 792

    Here, Einstein writes a conciliatory letter, appreciating that Selig Brodetsky is not alienated by his gruff manner in handling and discussing the Hebrew University, a cause so dear to his heart. At the time a mathematician at the University of Leeds, Brodetsky would go on to become the Hebrew University's president twenty years later.
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    Einstein on the Proposal to Create a Jewish Homeland in Peru

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 793

    Einstein expresses support for creating a Jewish homeland in Peru, and offers to do what he can to promote the project, cognizant that lending his name to a project concerning Jews will certainly have an impact.
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    Einstein, Working to Save Jews from Hitler, Discusses

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 794

    Einstein discusses the Brown Book, an expose documenting, amongst other things, the oppression of Jews. The growing momentum of speaking out against Nazism was encouraging for Einstein, but he thought that it would be more impactful if the criticism came from "only foreign non-Jews." Einstein understood that with his high profile, his public condemnation of Germany would have deadly consequences for German Jews.
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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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    Einstein:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 797

    In his reply to Inge Stern, a German ?migr?e to Los Angeles, Einstein notes that he's pleased she's getting on well, and adds that "Jewish smarts serve one well."
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    Albert Einstein Disagrees with Louis Brandeis; Argues that Palestine is Not the Key to Jewish Survival

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 798

    Writing in 1936, Einstein disagrees with Louis Brandeis that a Jewish state is necessary for Jewish continuity. "The persecutions will never cause us to perish," Einstein argues, and the dispersion of Jews around the globe ensures their survival.
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    Einstein Discusses an Understanding With the Arabs and Zionist Politics in 1942

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 800

    Writing in 1942, Einstein reiterates his support for Judah Magnes's proposal that the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine would come to an arrangement themselves, without the intervention of the British.
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    Einstein On His Anti-Nazi Work:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 801

    In 1943, Albert Einstein writes to Lionel Ettlinger that had people only listened to the pair of them, the horrors of the Holocaust could have been avoided. Einstein had travelled throughout Belgium and England in 1933 - shortly after Ettlinger had released a documentary about the German aggression against the Jews in Europe - warning anyone who would listen.
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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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    Chaim Weizmann Thanks British Zionist Leader for a Copy of His Book,

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 829

    Weizmann thanks the British Zionist leader, Phineas Horowitz, for a copy of his new book, The Jews, the War and After, which he looks forward to reading "with much pleasure and profit."
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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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    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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    Five Weeks After Having Been Shot and Almost Killed, Ronald Reagan is Pleased with Recovery

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 890

    Five weeks after the assassination attempt, President Ronald Reagan writes to his friend Glenn Ford, telling him that he feels fine, and is even surprising the doctors, which, in turn, makes him feel even better.
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    Grover Cleveland Celebrates a Great Deception: The One Year Anniversary of His Secret Cancer Surgery

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 891

    President Grover Cleveland writes to his friend and personal physician, Dr. Joseph Bryant, on the occasion of the one year anniversary of Cleveland's secret cancer surgery. The surgery, to remove a tumor on the president's jaw, was astonishingly performed on a yacht anchored on Long Island Sound, in order to conceal the President's condition from the public. Remarkably, the secret was kept for a quarter of a century.
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    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 907

    On a very busy day for Lincoln; the day we would declare war on the South, he discovers that his bill for his ten day stay at the Willard Hotel prior to his inauguration remains outstanding. He sends his secretary, John Nicolay, with this letter to the hotel owners, instructing them to give Nicolay the receipt and he will write a check for the amount immediately.
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    Abraham Lincoln, in a Prelude to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Agrees to Follow Douglas to Bloomington

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 909

    Abraham Lincoln writes to his friend William H. Hanna to assure him that he will follow Douglas on his speaking tours to take advantage of any "openings."
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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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    McKinley is Comforted to Learn That His Gravely-Ill Vice President is Improving - 5 Days Before Hobart Dies

    Autograph Telegram Signed

    1 page

    SMC 916

    This letter, in which President McKinley expresses his relief that Garret Hobart-his vice-president and dear friend-is on the mend, was written a mere five days before Hobart's health took a turn for the worse and he died.
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    Chaim Weizmann Thanks Clark Clifford for His Help In Getting President Truman to Recognize Israel

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 647

    Clark Clifford, President Truman's aide, argued against Secretary of State George Marshall "as if it were a case to be presented to the Supreme Court." Truman immediately recognized the Jewish State, and Weizmann, on his first day as President of Israel, thanks him.
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    David Roberts Sends Sketches of Holy Land to Archaeologist to Refute Famous Argument About Temple Mount

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 645

    Ahead of a meeting of the Royal Institute of British architects in London, David Roberts sends his sketches to the archaeologist J.J. Scoles, with whom he would collaborate to debunk James Fergusson’s thesis that the Dome of the Rock was the original Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
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    David Ben-Gurion on God’s Promises to His People: Strength and Peace – One Given, the Other, Coming

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 664

    Two years before the Yom Kippur War, and quoting from Psalms, David Ben Gurion tells a correspondent that there is definitely trouble brewing with Egypt, yet God promises his people two things: strength and peace. The former is obtained, and the latter, Ben-Gurion has faith, is coming.
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    Harry Truman Presents Supreme Court Chief Justice Vinson With a Gavel Having

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 680

    Harry Truman presents the Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson with a gavel made from the Jefferson Tree at Fulton Missouri. Here, Truman tells the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri, "Tip" Tipton how pleased both he and Vinson are with the gavel and its "historical connections."
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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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    Franklin Pierce Describes Nathaniel Hawthorne's Last Night Alive on Their Trip to New England

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 583

    Former President Pierce tells the story of his friend, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne's demise, detailing their last trip and the epic moment of Pierce’s discovery of his death.
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    Theodore Roosevelt, Readying for His Inauguration, Complains of Bad Tailoring

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 584

    In this marvelous letter, Theodore Roosevelt, about to be inaugurated for the second time, takes a haberdasher to task for some shoddy tailoring.
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    Harry Truman Letter Written as Vice-President But Signed as President with

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 585

    A letter from Harry Truman written as Vice President, then amended by hand as President, mentioning the "terrible responsibilities" that are now his. Truman had started this letter in the morning, as vice president, but by the evening, had ascended the presidency, following President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death that day.
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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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    George Washington Argues for a

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 587

    Though passionate about the construction of a canal in the Potomac, George Washington confesses to having little more than a layman's knowledge of the technical aspects of the project, and urges the company to retain a professional canal engineer.
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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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    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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    General Edmund Allenby Commemorates His Victorious Entrance Into Jerusalem One Year Later

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 595

    General Edmund Allenby, in celebrating the Allied victory of World War I, humbly commemorates the year anniversary of his conquering of Jerusalem.
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    Alfred Dreyfus Reviews Case Against Him, Proclaims His Innocence, and Demands Another Trial

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 617

    Alfred Dreyfus respectfully demands a retrial for his trumped-up treason charge from the French prime minister, and vows to prove his innocence till his dying day.
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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 to Lorna Wingate on the Jewish Brigade:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 375

    Chaim Weizmann tells Lorna Wingate that the Jewish Brigade, and future army, is a long game, and will come with hard work and fortitude.
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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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    Chaim Weizmann Analyzes British Partition Plans and Prerequisites for Statehood; Blasts American Jewry

    Autograph Letter Signed

    5 pages

    SMC 380

    Chaim Weizmann accepts Wingate's offer to organize guerilla night squads to defend against Arab terrorism, analyzes the British Partition Plans, and blasts American Jewry - all in one letter.
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    Polk, Exhausted, Says He's Feeling Better Now That He's Out of Office, Then Dies a Month Later

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 244

    Polk writes to say he's been given the respite he needed after the presidency and is feeling much better, only to die less than a month after writing this letter, in October of 1849.
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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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    President Ronald Reagan Defends George Custer Against Charges of Negligence at Little Bighorn

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 248

    Describing himself as a "Custer Buff," President Ronald Reagan regrets that White House custom forbids his writing a foreword to a book on Custer. Reagan then goes on to defend Custer as a "brilliant officer," and rejects the idea that Custer's last stand was foolhardy, but actually following orders.
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    Praising the United Jewish Appeal, FDR Mentions Suffering Brought on by the Nazis

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 249

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt writes a bland letter to the chairmen of the United Jewish Appeal, in which he scratches the surface of the Holocaust and rather hollowly endorses the UJA.
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    Days After William McKinley's Death, Theodore Roosevelt Swears to Do His Best

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 251

    Roosevelt, who has just become President due to McKinley's assassination looks forward at what must be done, rather than being "morbid."
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    President Theodore Roosevelt Plans for Life After the White House: His African Safari

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 253

    Theodore Roosevelt, in the midst of planning his post-presidential safari, asks a fellow big-game hunter currently residing in East Africa for recommendations of hunting spots for specific animals.
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    Extraordinary Orville Wright Letter Discussing the Birth of Manned Flight at Kitty Hawk

    Typed Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 382

    Lawrence L. Driggs, who later went on to write extensively about early aviation, wrote a letter to Orville Wright asking him what was "the most interesting or significant episode in the birth of flying at Kitty Hawk." This long letter is Wright's response, primarily describing unusual soaring experiences during various test-flights.
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    Ben-Gurion Predicts Victory Under Dayan in 6-Day War; Discusses How Many Arabs Equal One Israeli Soldier

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 385

    Moshe Dayan is appointed minister of defence; Ben Gurion predicts that Israel will triumph over Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in the coming Six Day War.
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    Mark Twain Inquires if Alfred Dreyfus Was Struck in the Face With the Hilt of a Sword

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 388

    Here, Samuel Clemens, who had been in Paris when the Dreyfus affair struck, urgently seeks a detail of Dreyfus' degradation and abuse.
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    Einstein on Zionism: He is for a Jewish Homeland, But Not a Separate State

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 392

    Rather than an independent Jewish state, Einstein would like to see a "secured bi-national status in Palestine with free immigration," adding that it defies common sense to "ask to be given the political rule over Palestine where two thirds of the population are not Jewish."
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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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    Ulysses S. Grant Tries to Lose the Anti-Semite Label Engendered to Him by His Infamous “Jew Order”

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 394

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    President Andrew Jackson's Big Cheese Tasting

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 399

    President Andrew Jackson invites a friend to the most famous cheese tasting in American history. On Washington's birthday, March 3, 1837, the President opened the White House for the American public to consume a cheese wheel, four feet in diameter, and weighing 1400 lbs. It took citizens of all walks of life approximately two hours to consume the block of cheddar.
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    Lincoln Names Himself

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 409

    Newly-minted Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln humbles himself before formal rival Cassius Clay in order to secure his position.
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    Abraham Lincoln in 1860:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 410

    Lincoln reports to his friend that his prospects for winning the 1860 election looked promising.
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    A Rare Abraham Lincoln Quote from Shakespeare's Othello

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 414

    Here, relating to the Mexican War ending, Abraham Lincoln alludes to "Othello's occupation's gone."
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    Herman Melville

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 419

    Herman Melville sends his only presentation copy of Clarel to an admirer, noting that the poem was so unpopular, the admirer would have a difficult time getting his hands on a copy.
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    Former President Franklin Pierce Defends Himself Against Treason Charges Brought by William H. Seward

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 422

    Franklin Pierce, a public detractor of President Lincoln and of the Union, is charged with being a member of a secret league, intending to overthrow the government. Incensed by the publication of the allegations, Pierce arranges for his old friend, Senator Latham of California, to introduce a resolution demanding that all the correspondence in the matter be submitted to Congress for inquiry.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Expresses His Dislike of the Motor Car

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 423

    Though he was the first president to ride in an automobile, President Theodore Roosevelt had a profound dislike for them. He does, concede, however, that once their use is regulated, they will likely be less objectionable.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Arranges a Dramatic Presentation About the Rough Riders

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 424

    Roosevelt arranges to meet Mason Mitchell, whom he deems "the only Rough Rider with dramatic and literary capacity," in order to discuss their dramatic presentation about the Rough Riders.
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    Shortly After Firing General MacArthur, President Truman Writes of His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 428

    In the days following MacArthur's dismissal, and all of the upheaval surrounding it, President Truman thanks his Secretary of State Dean Acheson for his unwavering support and friendship.
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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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    It Was His Boyhood Reading, Harry Truman Recalls, That Prepared Him for When His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 430

    Harry Truman, the only U.S. President of the 20th century who did not receive a university education, reflects on how his childhood love of reading and self-education prepared him for his sudden ascent to the presidency.
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    An Early and Rare Account by Orville Wright of the First Flight at Kitty Hawk

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 431

    Three weeks after the first flight at Kitty Hawk, Orville Wright dives into a detailed and technical explanation of what went right in the flight, and what went wrong.
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    George Washington Dreads Assuming the Presidency: He Feels as if He's Being Led to His Execution

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 433

    Draft of George Washington's letter to Major General Henry Knox, in which, thirty days before his inauguration, Washington compares assuming the presidency to being lead to his execution. He insists he doesn't have the political skill, ability, or even the inclination to lead. He fears, terribly, that he risks his good name in assuming the presidency.
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    Abraham Lincoln Reviews His Won-Lost Record in Electoral Politics Up to 1849

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 443

    At the request of his correspondent, John Coulter, Lincoln wrote this letter outlining his electoral win-loss record against his long-time detractor, the Reverend Peter Cartwright.
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    Abraham Lincoln Suggests Suffrage for Some Louisiana Blacks: The

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 448

    Abraham Lincoln tactfully suggests to the new governor of the freshly freed state of Louisiana, Michael Hahn, that Hahn might grant suffrage for blacks who either fought for the Union or were "very intelligent." This proposal was a very elegant compromise between those who did not want suffrage for blacks and those who did; it also ensured that Lincoln, right before an election, didn't rock the boat too much.
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    Edgar Allan Poe Details His Literary Life and Says

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 458

    Poe discusses literary merit and the business of publishing; identifies "The Raven" and "The Valdemar Case" as his best work.
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    30-Year-Old Theodore Roosevelt Declares His Affinity for the West, and His Identification with its Heroes

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 464

    Researching his history about the conquest of the North American frontier, Roosevelt writes to the president of the Tennessee Historical Society, declaring his affinity for, and identification with, such great Tennesseans as John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, William Clark, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Decries the Deprivations Suffered by His Rough Riders After Battle of San Juan Hill

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 465

    Colonel Theodore Roosevelt writes to the father of one of his soldiers who was taken ill with typhoid fever. He thanks the father for his offer to send some food to the soldiers but condemns the government for not providing enough food, supplies, and medical treatment to his cavalry.
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    FDR's 1938 Plan to Settle Jewish and

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 473

    In 1938, Franklin Delano Roosevelt remarks, in the strictest privacy, that "in the crowded state of affairs in some nations in Europe and in certain areas of the United States, existing situations could be relieved by a small but fairly constant stream of emigrants to the unoccupied parts of the world." FDR is referring here to not only "white" refugees, but to European Jews as well.
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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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    Contemporary Copy of Chase's Letter to Abraham Lincoln in Support of General Hunter's Emancipation Order

    Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 501

    Salomon P. Chase, President Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, was the most ardent abolitionist in Lincoln's cabinet. Here, he praises General Hunter's declaration of emancipation of all slaves in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
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    Ronald Reagan Offers Ethel Kennedy His Help as Robert F. Kennedy, Shot in Los Angeles, Lay Dying

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 502

    In this telegram, Ronald Reagan, a political opponent of Robert F. Kennedy, sets aside partisanship and offers Ethel Kennedy assistance.
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    David Ben Gurion on Anwar Sadat's Wanting Peace in 1971: He Isn't Convinced

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 508

    David Ben Gurion places responsibility for peace with the Egyptians at their feet, but also remarks that "a great deal depends on Russia."
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    Andrew Johnson Writes His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 517

    In this short sketch of his public career, Johnson recounts his various elective offices, and suggests additional published sources of his “humble history."
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    President Andrew Jackson Writes of His Loneliness in the White House

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 518

    President Andrew Jackson describes himself as"very lonesome" in the White House. Though he was surrounded by many family members, it his his wife, Rachel, whom Jackson desperately misses.
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    Life's Lessons: John F. Kennedy Advises a College Student What Classes to Take for a Life in Politics

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 522

    John F. Kennedy, then a senator, is asked what he recommends as a course of study for a young person wishing to enter politics. In addition to recommending joining a campaign for practical knowledge, Kennedy says he feels that a "thorough knowledge of English is most essential," followed by the obvious choice of law for postgraduate studies.
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    John F. Kennedy: National Security and Future of the Space Program Depend on Ending Labor Strife Delays

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 523

    John F. Kennedy views the delays with the labor unions as a threat to not only the space program, but to national security. He urges Arthur Goldberg, the Secretary of Labor, to come to a swift arrangement with union leaders in order to resume the space race against the Soviets.
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    Early John F. Kennedy Letter About the Death of His Brother Joe, Which Would Propel Him Into Politics

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 524

    This letter thanking Miss Forbush for her condolences and prayers on the occasion of Joe Jr.'s death in World War II marks the beginning of John F. Kennedy's shouldering the mantle of his father's political aspirations.
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    Abraham Lincoln Comforts His Campaign Manager After Losing the Senate Race:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 527

    Following his defeat in the 1858 Senate contest, Lincoln writes to his campaign manager: “You are feeling badly - 'And this too shall pass away' - Never fear." The phrase came from an Eastern folktale attributed to King Solomon. Judd's disappointment would indeed soon pass away: within 6 weeks Lincoln would be proposed as a presidential candidate in the 1860 election.
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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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    Abraham Lincoln, Noting

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 533

    Here President Lincoln makes an historic appointment for primarily political purpose. Mindful of the support that Jews, flocking to the Republican Party, had given him, Lincoln was clearly eager to repay the favor.
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    Rabbi Sabato Morais Sends His Synagogue's Contribution to the Lincoln Monument

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 538

    Rabbi Sabato Morais of Congregation Mikve Israel sends his congregation's contribution to the Lincoln Memorial to be built in Washington. The synagogue was part of an appeal to all religious institutions in Philadelphia, and Morais, who revered Lincoln, was proud to report to the city's mayor that his congregation had raised $300.
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    Edward Robinson Writes to His Publisher to Inquire About His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 545

    Edward Robinson, eager to sail home to America, inquires with his publisher as to the progress of his manuscript for Biblical Researches in Palestine. His work would be the cornerstone and genesis of biblical archaeology.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Writes

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 547

    Here, in print, Theodore Roosevelt appropriates the word "bully" to use as a commendation.
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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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    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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    James Garfield on Assassination:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 556

    Though he is reviewing the "usual number of threatening letters on that subject," President-Elect James Garfield does not think that assassination is anything to worry about, as it cannot be prevented. He was shot in the back twice by Charles Guiteau eight months later.
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    Thomas Jefferson Describes the White House as

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 560

    Many Americans were self conscious that the White House stood in a barren field. Adams said the view was romantic, though the house sat in the wilderness. To Jefferson, the White House was actually a "pleasant country residence."
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    A Fateful Appointment: Abraham Lincoln Makes William T. Sherman a General

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 566

    Shortly after having been part of the Union loss at the Battle of Bull Run, Lincoln, in an effort to encourage the troops, promotes Sherman to General. Sherman would devastate the South and ensure Union victory three years later.
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    Theodore Roosevelt Comments On, and Then Annotates, a Manuscript Detailing the Attempt Made on His Life

    Typed Letter Signed

    5 pages

    SMC 258

    Theodore Roosevelt comments on a manuscript detailing, step by step and minute by minute, the assassination attempt made on his life on October 14, 1912.
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    William Tecumseh Sherman Vents Anti-Semitic Prejudices, Discusses Runaway Slaves, & Sketches Total War

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 259

    Writing during the war, Sherman casually blames smuggling and theft on Jews. Additionally, he depicts the hatred of the Southern population towards the North, justifying, presumably, his harsh conduct of war.
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    Secretary of War William H. Taft Reports That San Francisco is Almost Destroyed in the Earthquake

    Typed Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 261

    Secretary of War Taft writes this missive primarily about the administration of the Philippines, and expresses concern for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, James Francis Smith, whom he knew to be in San Francisco during the earthquake. The scale of the damage was as yet unclear, and Taft reports that the city was almost destroyed, and since telegraph wires are down, "we are in the dark."
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    Rare William Howard Taft Autograph Letter as President: He's Happy to Meet After His Daily (Golf) Game

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 262

    With this rare autograph letter as President, Taft announces he will play golf with his beloved military aide, Archie Butt, in the morning, and will be glad to meet with his correspondent, just after lunch.
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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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    Mark Twain, on the Heroic Writing, and Fantastic Success, of Ulysses S. Grant's Memoirs

    Autograph Letter Signed

    6 pages

    SMC 282

    Samuel Clemens encloses a copy of General Grant's memoirs, calling them "the most admirably simple, direct, and unpretentious story that was ever put on paper by a supremely great man."
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    Twain: Monuments Disappear, But Great Cities - and Reputations - Survive

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 283

    Writing shortly after the death of his friend, General Grant, Twain muses on the nature of legacy. He agrees with his correspondent that monuments to Grant will one day crumble though his reputation will live on. Twain then moves on to discuss the longevity of cities, and even touches on the issue of the origin debates, still being hotly debated in that year, 1885.
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    General Custer Gives an Order to His Loyal Adjutant Cooke, Who Would Die Next to Him at Little Bighorn

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 289

    This order to Cooke concerns another 7th Cavalry regular who also rode with Custer – though not as a friend. Major Lewis Merrill, with whom Custer had numerous run-ins, is alleged here to have taken some instruments belonging to the 7th Cavalry band: Cooke is tasked with making sense of what happened.
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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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    Winston Churchill Thanks Ormsby-Gore for Accepting Post to the Permanent Mandates Commission

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 294

    Winston Churchill Thanks Pro-Zionist Ormsby-Gore for Accepting Post to the Permanent Mandates Commission Responsible for Palestine.
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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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    Thomas Edison:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 298

    Thomas Edison says he cannot complete the megaphone, as he is in the midst of working on the light bulb; that same day, however, the light bulb would be burning successfully.
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    Letter From Gettysburg Battlefield, July 4th, 1863: Union Soldier Hopes

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 299

    Writing to his mother on the fourth of July, Private Strouss tells his her that he is alive, unharmed, and although unsure who has won, he hopes that "this Battle will end the war" so that he may return home.
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    David Ben Gurion Predicts That the Six Day War Will Not Be Israel's Last

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 302

    Ben-Gurion claims that as long as the USA and the USSR fight the Cold War by proxy in the Middle East - by arming Arab countries - there will be no peace in the region, and Israel will have to continuously fight for its survival.
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    John Wilkes Booth Writes to John Ford to Arrange His Performance in a Play Which Lincoln Was to Attend

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 304

    Though this was not the play at which John Wilkes Booth would jump from the stage and assassinate President Lincoln, here, a year and a half before he would do so, Booth writes to John Ford in order to arrange his performance at the latter's theatre for a play which Lincoln was to attend.
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    Major Archibald Butt, Military Aide to Roosevelt and Taft, Writes the Day Before Boarding the Titanic

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 305

    Archibald Butt enquires about a refund for train travel, instructing the refund be sent care of the White House. Butt, in Europe to restore his health, would board the Titanic home to the United States the next day. He was last seen standing on the sinking deck with John Jacob Astor.
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    Jewish General Edward S. Salomon Accepts an Invitation to Meet With His Old Comrades-in-Arms

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 308

    Edward S. Salomon was a hero of Gettysburg and Atlanta, rising through the ranks and eventually becoming a Brigadier General. He commanded a Jewish regiment, the 82nd Illinois, and here accepts an invitation "to meet the officers of the late Army of the Cumberland."
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    Einstein on the Tragedy of Herzl's Son:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 311

    Albert Einstein comments that the tragic story of Theodor Herzl's children "constitutes a warning to all Jews against defection from their people," and gives permission to the author of a forthcoming book about Herzl to use Einstein's remark for PR.
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    Rare Eisenhower Autograph as President, Praising the Utica Public Library

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 312

    This handwritten letter conveys President Eisenhower’s best wishes to the Board of Trustees of the Utica Public Library, and to all the visitors to that fine institution.
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    In 1936, As Hitler Closes In, Freud Acts to Help a Colleague's Son Who Has Been Charged With High Treason

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 314

    Sigmund Freud writes to support his friend Paul Federn, whose anti-fascist son has been arrested for the second time for high treason in Austria. Freud had previously lent his friend 3000 francs and insists that he accept the additional 2000 enclosed in the letter.
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    Rare President James A. Garfield Letter in Office

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 315

    Garfield, who would be shot and mortally wounded in July 1881, really only fully functioned as Chief Executive for four months; as a result, his autograph letters in office are very scarce.
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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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    Herbert Hoover Explains, In Autograph, His Antipathy to Writing Holograph Letters

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 328

    Former President Herbert Hoover expresses his preference for typewritten letters for the sake of efficiency, but since "the typewriter is a poor method of conveying emotion," he handwrites this letter in order to "convey more than usual wishes of a happy and prosperous New Year."
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    President Herbert Hoover Silent on 1929 Hebron Massacre

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 330

    Writing to a minister's wife who was horrified by the 1929 anti-Jewish Hebron massacre in Palestine, President Herbert Hoover responds coolly to her "interesting observations."
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    Beset By an Ally-Turned-Detractor, Theodor Herzl Says It's a

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 331

    Theodor Herzl asks Ulla Wolff how much she wishes to be paid for her article in his newspaper Die Welt, insisting that frankness is the best way to avoid awkwardness between friends. He goes on to be even more candid, and describes his acrimonious split with one-time editor of the newspaper, Saul Raphael Landau, writing that it is a "miracle from God" that Herzl himself hasn't become an antisemite.
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    Sen. John F. Kennedy Declines McCarthyite Alvin Owsley's Invitation to Visit Texas; Invites Him to Lunch

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 340

    Kennedy’s letter to Alvin Owsley, addressed to him in Dallas, is dated almost ten years to the day on which he would make his ill-fated trip to that city as president. In a sad twist, Kennedy concludes the letter with the hope that he will be able to see Owsley during "one of my visits to Texas on another occasion."
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    President John F. Kennedy Plans a Pleasure Trip to His Ancestral Home, Ireland

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 341

    Ahead of his trip to Ireland, President Kennedy reassures his close friend Dot Tubridy that she will be included in all presidential functions.
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    President John F. Kennedy On His Historic Trip to Ireland:

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 342

    John F. Kennedy writes to his close friend Dot Tubridy to tell her how much he enjoyed his trip to Ireland and seeing her.
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    In 1942, Ensign J.F. Kennedy Requests Sea Duty on a PT Vessel:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 343

    This document sent John F. Kennedy to sea during World War II, where he would become a celebrated hero after his boat sunk, and he swam three miles to shore dragging a shipmate to safety with his lifejacket between his teeth.
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    President Kennedy Sends General Maxwell Taylor to South Vietnam to Appraise the Situation

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 344

    Under pressure to send US ground troops to Vietnam, President John F. Kennedy plays for time by sending General Maxwell Taylor to South Vietnam to appraise the situation. Kennedy reminds Taylor that the "initial responsibility for the effective maintenance of the independence of South Viet-Nam rests with the people and government of that country."
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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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    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 347

    Lincoln's Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, pleaded with Lincoln not to go to Petersburg because of great personal risk to the President. Lincoln responds that he had already been to Petersburg with Grant, and plans to go to Richmond, newly fallen, as well. He assures Stanton that he will take care of himself.
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    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 349

    A subscriber of Leeser's periodical The Occident beseeches the publicly neutral Leeser to intervene with President Lincoln in order to end the Civil War.
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    Rare Abraham Lincoln Letter to His Dear Friend Abraham Jonas - He is

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 350

    Abraham Lincoln makes an extremely rare allusion, by way of a none-too-kind pun, to an intimate family problem. Lincoln cannot come to Quincy to speak on behalf of the Republican ticket, because he is working day and night to keep his wayward, crippled step-nephew out of jail. His nephew was the source of a considerable amount of trouble for Lincoln, and here he refers to it in code, for Jonas alone to understand.
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    Abraham Lincoln Arranges for the Anonymous Publication of His Famous Poem

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 353

    To minimize the risk of ridicule, Congressman-Elect Abraham Lincoln asks fellow lawyer, Andrew Johnston, to publish his poem about the publication his poem anonymously in the Quincy Whig.
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    President Abraham Lincoln Thanks a Jewish Philadelphian for the Gift of a Suit

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 356

    President Lincoln hand-writes every component of a letter of thanks to Jewish civic leader L.J. Lieberman thanking him on behalf of Messrs. Rockhill and Wilson, clothiers, who had donated a suit tailored to the President's measurements to the Great Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia in June of 1864.
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    Abraham Lincoln Sends His Autograph as a Favor to His Jewish Friend Sigismund Kaufmann

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 357

    Sigismund Kaufmann, a prominent Jewish-German, was a friend of President Lincoln, and had amassed the support of New York's German Jews in favor of Lincoln. He had requested Lincoln's autograph, and the president happily obliged.
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    President Harry Truman Defends Atomic Bombing of Japan as

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 367

    Harry Truman defends his use of the atomic bomb, reasoning that the only language the Japanese understand is that of extreme force.
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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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    Horatio Nelson Rejoices at the Raising of the Siege of Acre - And Napoleon's Fleeing

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 108

    Nelson jubilantly reports that the French are being pushed back from Acre and from Zante (Greece), pleased at Napoleon "the villain's" ignominious end.
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    T.E. Lawrence on Palestine: No One Trusts the British for More Than Two Minutes

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 110

    Primarily discussing his book "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom," T.E. Lawrence confides in Brig. General Sir Gilbert Falkingham Clayton that no person of any "race or creed" living in Palestine trusts the British for "more than two minutes." If they would, he ruefully comments, "things would be more stable there."
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    T.E. Lawrence Wants to

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 111

    T.E. Lawrence writes to his superior at the Arab Bureau, General Clayton, to ask if he should send a letter he wrote to Sir Mark Sykes, the man responsible for divvying up the Middle East between the English and the French. Here, Lawrence mentions to Clayton that the "Jewish section" should be cleared up, and when they fight the French, the French section will fall into English hands, as well.
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    General Charles

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 112

    Here, Charles Gordon, writing to friend and fellow explorer, Sir Samuel Baker, is positive of the location of not only Calvary, but of other archaeological sites purporting to be of biblical significance, though disputed, by his own admission.
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    General Charles

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 113

    Charles Gordon reveals that he will be going to Palestine. There, he will fulfill a cherished ambition, searching to establish authoritatively the locations of the site of the crucifixion, the line of division between the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, the identification of Gibeon, and the whereabouts of Christ’s tomb.
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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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    Mark Twain Names His Lecture Tour About Holy Land Trip:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 117

    Twain's use of the title, The American Vandal Abroad – a play on The Innocents Abroad - suggests that perhaps American tourists to the Holy Land weren't always so innocent. Twain recorded, aghast, how these religious pilgrims sliced off souvenirs from venerable biblical sites in Palestine.
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    Mark Twain to French Jewish Writer Marcel Schwob:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 118

    Here Twain denounces a French translation of a story he did not write, pronouncing it a "singularly unpleasant production." He assures Schwob that he has been deceived: "I do commit crimes," he writes, "but they are not of this grade."
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    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 120

    Samuel Clemens, speaking in third person, referring to himself as "the American historian of Joan of Arc," regretfully declines an invitation to meet the French ambassador. He signs the letter as "Mark," though he also refers to himself as Clemens.
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    Ulysses S. Grant Says Mark Twain Has Offered Him

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 121

    Here, Grant reports to his friend and advisor, George Childs, that he’s soured on the Century deal, and is being wooed by Twain’s own publishing firm, Charles L. Webster & Co.
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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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    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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    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 127

    Despite being condemned by the Chief Justice and public opinion, Buchanan, unwaveringly trusts in the words of his Secretary of War, James Holt, who wrote that Buchanan's "labors will yet be crowned by the glory that belongs to an enlightened Statesmanship & to an unsullied patriotism."
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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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    Lyndon B. Johnson on the Death of an Astronaut in the Apollo I Fire

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 131

    President Lyndon B. Johnson's letter of condolence to the parents of Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut who died in the Apollo I fire.
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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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    In 1851, Rabbi Gotthelf's Louisville Congregation Votes to Send $100 Per Year for Jerusalem's Poor

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 137

    Rabbi Gotthelf, the first spiritual leader of the Louisville synagogue of Adas Israel, tells Isaac Leeser, the editor of The Occident, that his congregation has pledged to donate $100 a year to Jerusalem's poor.
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    Jack London, Hit Hard By the San Francisco Earthquake, Concentrates on Building His Yacht,

    Typed Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 140

    The San Francisco earthquake, just three weeks before, has nearly wiped London out, and he hasn't, he says here, the funds to invest in an improved gas stove; his priority is building "the Snark, " with which he will circumnavigate the globe.
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    Abraham Lincoln: He'll Speak Where it will do Good - Not as a Compliment to Himself

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 141

    Abraham Lincoln, determined to speak out against slavery wherever helpful, instructs the editor of the Carlinville Whig paper not to introduce Lincoln as "merely a compliment to me," for he'd rather save everyone the bother, unless "it promises some good."
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    John Wilkes Booth Letter, Written Eight Weeks Before Lincoln's Assassination, Mentions Ford's Theatre

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 142

    John Wilkes Booth writes to his friend to request that he send his card photographs to an address in New York City. After that, he shall collect his mail at Ford's Theatre. Ironically, the cards that Booth has sent for, his "favorite" photo of himself, later became the image on the wanted poster associated with the assassination of President Lincoln.
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    On the Day of President McKinley's Death, Asst. Secretary of State Cridler Writes of His Horror and Fury

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 143

    Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Wilbur Cridler expresses his anguish at President McKinley's death, and his rage at the assassin. Cridler, as a religious Christian, expresses difficulty conceiving of why God would allow this tragedy to happen.
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    At the behest of President Lincoln, General Grant Decline's Lee's Suggestion of Armistice Negotiations

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 147

    General Grant obediently replies to Secretary of War Edward Stanton with repeated crossed out protestations that he was not trying to usurp any authority. He had previously written to Stanton to ask if he could accept General Lee's invitation to negotiate an armistice, and had received a rebuke from President Lincoln himself.
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    Benjamin Mordecai, Jewish Benefactor of Confederate Cause Honored by the Famed Palmetto Riflemen

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 148

    Benjamin Mordecai graciously responds to the soldiers of the Palmetto Riflemen, who had thanked him for his donation.
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    Ronald Reagan Writes About How Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto Joined the Polish Uprising Against the Nazis

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 150

    Ronald Reagan denounces socialism to a correspondent abroad, and makes special mention of the atrocities committed by the socialism of the Soviets and the Germans during World War II. Reagan mentions that the Soviets held back whilst the Nazis slaughtered the Polish freedom fighters who were mostly, he mistakenly claims, Jews from the Ghetto.
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    President Harry Truman Says

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 154

    As Truman winds down his time in the White House, he confides to the mother of one of his best staffers that "it will be a relief to get out of Washington."
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    Congressman Lincoln Praises Future Vice President of Confederacy for his Opposition to the Mexican War

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 161

    In 1848, Abraham Lincoln and Alexander H. Stephens were both Whig supporters of Henry Polk, and ardently against the Mexican War. Here, Lincoln praises Stephens. Thirteen years after their short-lived alliance, the country was embroiled in a civil war; Lincoln was President of the United States, and Stephens Vice President of the Confederacy.
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    In Refusing a Parole, Lincoln Notes That Federal Prisoners Are Being

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 162

    Here, Lincoln replies to a request from his wife Mary’s cousin, Lyman Todd, that he cannot "enlarge on parole" a Colonel Smith. Such a thing would set a precedent, he says, upon which nearly all the prisoners held by the Union might act – and this, in the face of how the Confederacy was treating Federal prisoners, is completely unacceptable.
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    Union Soldier After Gettysburg:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 168

    A letter from a Union soldier to his family after the battle of Gettysburg. He lists missing soldiers, and reports the numbers of dead, wounded, and missing.
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    Rabbi Arnold Fischel Writes to Rabbi Sabato Morais About a Lecture on International Jewry

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 170

    Rabbi Arnold Fischer, the Dutch Ashkenazi leader of the Portuguese Sephardi synagogue in New York writes to the Italian rabbi of the Sephardi synagogue in Philadelphia, Rabbi Sabato Morais to ask him for information about Jewish life in Italy for his colleague, Raphael de Cordova, a Jew from Jamaica, who was preparing a lecture about Jewish life around the world.
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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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    Despite Being Shot, Theodore Roosevelt is, Reportedly,

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 177

    Ebert Martin, Theodore Roosevelt's assistant, jumped on Roosevelt's would-be-assassin and wrestled him to the ground. Here he reports from Roosevelt's hospital room that the candidate is improving.
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    Calling Himself a

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 178

    Chaim Weizmann, who was instrumental in establishing the Hebrew University, writes here of how it would be a "dream" to receive a degree from a Jewish University "of our own," imagining a graduation ceremony atop Mt. Zion.
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    Jewish Confederates: Letter Regarding Benjamin Mordecai's Support of a Commission for Jacob Valentine

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 181

    The secretary to the governor of South Carolina assures Charleston native Benjamin Mordecai that Jacob Valentine would be considered for a commission in service to the state. Mordecai had made possible South Carolina's secession from the Union with a generous donation.
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    Thomas Cook, Holy Land Tourism Pioneer, Receives Testimonial

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 184

    Thomas Cooke thanks a member of the clergy for a testimonial of his tour, and asks if any corrections are necessary.
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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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    General Meade: Lee is Just 15 Miles Away and

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 190

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    President Lyndon Johnson Salutes Sir Winston Churchill's Commitment to Zionism

    Typed Letter Signed

    5 pages

    SMC 194

    President Lyndon B. Johnson writes to Dr. Max Nussbaum, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, to add his congratulations to Sir Winston Churchill on receiving the Theodor Herzl award for his contributions to the Zionist cause.
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    Theodor Herzl, Hurt and Frustrated, Considers Quitting-in 1896, the First Year of the Zionist Movement

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 195

    Herzl requests from the Lemberg Zionists a copy of a letter in which he reputedly said that an English millionaire was willing to sacrifice 150 million guilders – a "gross distortion or silly misunderstanding" of what he actually said. He is also hurt by the tone in which he was discussed in this connection - so much so, in fact, that he is considering resigning from the Zionist movement.
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    Abraham Lincoln Biographer Ida Tarbell Praises Isaac Markens's

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 198

    Here, Ida Tarbell, renowned for her biography of Abraham Lincoln, salutes Isaac Markens, whose seminal study of Lincoln and the Jews pioneered the genre in Lincoln literature.
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    Abraham Lincoln Analyzes Stephen Douglas's Position, and Maneuvering, on the Temperance Issue in Illinois

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 213

    Abraham Lincoln writes this letter mostly in what he imagines to be Stephen Douglas's inner monologue. Lincoln minces no words in accusing Douglas of stirring up a debate on the subject of temperance in Illinois in order to divide the Republican party and get himself elected to the state Senate.
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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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    Hugh McCulloch Confides That He Would Reluctantly Accept an Appointment as Treasury Secretary

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 231

    Hugh McCullough confides in House Speaker Schuyler Colfax that should President Lincoln offer him the position of Treasury Secretary, he'd accept with "extreme reluctance." Ironically, McCullough wasn't Lincoln's first choice, either. Sadly, McCullough shone in the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination by stabilizing the markets.
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    Heartsick, Max Nordau Writes About the Death of Theodor Herzl

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 235

    Max Nordau co-founded the World Zionist Congress with Theodor Herzl, and was his psychiatrist and friend. Here, still reeling from Herzl's death, thanks an American journalist for not only writing an article about Herzl, but also for his kind depiction of Nordau in the article.
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    The Ultimate Presidential Rarity: An Autographed Letter of the Sick, Soon to Die, William Henry Harrison

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1558

    One of three autographed letters in existence by President William Henry Harrison. The bedridden president confesses that he is "so much harassed by the multitude that call upon me that I can give no proper attention to any business of my own."
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    Young Mark Twain, in Maui, Sets Out to

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1575

    Young Mark Twain, during his four month stint in Hawaii, makes plans to see Haleakala, a volcano on Maui.
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    Abraham Lincoln:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1552

    Though Lincoln had almost no experience in government, his new Republican party swept to victory in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana in the Congressional elections of October 9th, and it looked, almost for a certainty, Lincoln writes here, "as if the Government is about to fall into our hands."
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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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    Lincoln is

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1554

    After just having heard that the union lost 1776 men in the Battle of the Wilderness, amongst other bad news, Lincoln was asked to give a sentiment for an autograph collector, Lincoln replied "I would give a sentiment, but just now I am not in a sentimental mood."
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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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    The Beginning of the Peace Corps: President Kennedy Welcomes the First Volunteers

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1447

    President John F. Kennedy founded the Peace Corps in 1961. This letter from him wishes the Peace Corps volunteer good luck on the upcoming entrance exams.
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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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    Lyndon B. Johnson Writes to the Parents of Astronaut Gus Grissom, Killed in the Apollo I Fire

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1459

    President Johnson loved the Space Program; loved the astronauts; loved awarding Gus Grissom NASA's Distinguished Service Medal, for being the first American to fly into space twice. Burying Grissom, and his comrades, was a bitter responsibility – which he followed, still, with personal letters of condolence.
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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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    Six Months After His Resignation, a Rare Richard Nixon Comment on Watergate: He Took One for the Team

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1463

    Nixon implies that his resignation of the presidency was done in part to ensure the political survival of associates and supporters.
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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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    Reagan Stirringly Defends His Decision Not to Stop a Cop-Killer's Execution

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1475

    Governor Reagan responds to a man who sharply condemns his unwillingness to prevent the execution of a man convicted for killing a policeman. Despite the combative nature of the man's letter (also transcribed here), Reagan willingly engages the man in discussing the function and protocol of the judicial system in the context of capital punishment.
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    Ronald Reagan Writes About Vietnam in 1968: A Change of Policy is Needed

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1476

    Ronald Reagan's draft of a letter to a Vietnam serviceman expressing his gratitude for his and other soldiers' service. Reagan calls for both a policy and leadership change, alluding to Johnson's handling of the war.
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    Reagan, Arguing for Capital Punishment, Discusses the Rabbinic Interpretation of the Sixth Commandment

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1477

    Reagan corrects protestors of the death penalty who quote the Bible saying "Thou Shalt Not Kill," referring to capital punishment. According to the original Hebrew, Regan argues, the Bible commands one not to murder - the convicted was, himself, charged with murdering a police officer in the first degree. The Bible also calls for reciprocal justice, ie, "an eye for an eye."
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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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    President Ronald Reagan, Burdened by Budget Crisis, Happily Escapes Washington for a Day

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1483

    President Reagan, who was encountering great difficulty in having his budget passed in the Senate, enjoys a day in New Jersey, addressing the University of Seton Hall.
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    President Ronald Reagan on Challenges:

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1484

    In this letter, Ronald Reagan demonstrates the optimism for which he became famous.
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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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    Gregory Jarvis Says That Space Mission Assignment is

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1509

    Explaining that "being assigned to any mission is relatively tentative and re-assignment is just the luck of the draw," Jarvis tells his correspondent that after being bumped, he has been assigned to the Challenger as a payload specialist.
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    Dick Scobee, Commander of the Ill-Fated Challenger, Hopes to Be Selected as a Space Shuttle Astronaut

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1510

    Dick Scobee writes that he hopes to be selected as a space shuttle astronaut. He eventually would become the commander of the ill-fated Challenger.
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    Benjamin Harrison Names Solomon Hirsch Minister to Turkey, the Third Jew to Hold That Diplomatic Rank

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1531

    Solomon Hirsch tops President Benjamin Harrison's list of diplomatic appointees. Harrison was indebted to the German-born Hirsch, who carried his home-state of Oregon as Republican.
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    Newly Sworn-in Theodore Roosevelt Reacts with Foreboding: a Heavy and Painful Task Has Fallen Upon Him

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1541

    Grief-stricken over the death of President William McKinley just hours before, newly sworn-in Theodore Roosevelt describes the task before him as both "heavy" and "painful."
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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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    Fresh From His Capture of Vicksburg, Ulysses S. Grant Reports From Gettysburg:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 1545

    General Ulysses S. Grant assures Major General Banks-whose army lay in siege around the Mississippi-with two pieces of news. The first is that he is sending reinforcements. The second is that Major General George Meade defeated General Lee, and was pursuing him.
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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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    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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    Secretary of Interior on Campaign to Stop German Annihilation of Jews -The Holocaust- During WWII

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1616

    Letter from the Secretary of the Interior of the United States, inviting friends to join a campaign to end the German annihilation of the Jews of Europe.
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    Grover Cleveland Complains of an Avalanche of Unwelcome Invitations, As He Plans a Pleasure Trip Out of Town

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 1622

    Grover Cleveland expresses his exasperation for the niceties and public appearances necessitated by being the President of the United States, and says he's as "cross as a bear."
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    Benjamin Cardozo Expresses His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1648

    Justice Benjamin Cardozo thanks Emanuel Hertz for his pamphlets on Lincoln, "which are sure to interest" him.
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    President Calvin Coolidge Writes to a Jewish American About the Book

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1650

    This brief letter documents a rare instance of Calvin Coolidge communicating with a Jewish American and, rarer still, about an aspect of Judaism: here he thanks Emanuel Hertz for a copy of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire’s popular work, A Book of Jewish Thoughts.
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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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    William McKinley Invites Old Friend to Go with Him to His Gubernatorial Inauguration:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1666

    William McKinley urges his friend John Taylor and his wife to join him and his wife to travel together to McKinley's induction ceremony as Governor of Ohio. He would later call upon the same friends to accompany him to his inauguration as president.
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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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    Herzl Directs U.S. Zionists to Force McKinley to Protest Turkish Discrimination of Jews in Palestine

    Typed Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1680

    In 1900, the Ottoman Empire officially barred Jews from visiting the Holy Land. The Italian government immediately protested this violation of human rights, which distinguished between Jewish and Gentile Italian citizens. Here, Theodor Herzl aims to introduce the debate to Congress or Senate so that a country as powerful as the United States would emulate Italy's example, inspiring other countries to follow suit.
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    Mark Twain Discovers His Newfound Celebrity Status Upon his Return from His

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1681

    Mark Twain only realizes that his correspondence from his travels have made him something of a celebrity writer upon his return.
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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's Last Day in New York Before Leaving on the

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1686

    A letter written in the wee hours of the morning after an evening and night spent drinking. Twelve hours later, Twain would be aboard "The Quaker City."
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    Mark Twain Promotes his

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1687

    Dan Slote, Mark Twain's roommate on the "Quaker City" voyage, has sold about 200 copies of The Innocents Abroad to his friends, and given away about a dozen more. He is very well-connected, and can sell more copies. Twain asks his publisher to supply Slote with about 50 more copies of the book at a 40% discount, to be paid after he's sold the books.
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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 Says He Cannot Deliver a

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 1693

    Mark Twain explains he cannot deliver a "light & nonsensical speech" while fatally wounded President Garfield is dying. Signed as Samuel Clemens.
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    Mark Twain on the French: No Humor, No Depth, No Compass, No Balance, No...

    Autograph Letter Signed

    4 pages

    SMC 1695

    Mark Twain deflects the responsibility for offending a Madame Blanc, and blames her French lack of humor.
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    Mark Twain Can't Remember Recent Things But Vividly Recalls His Hannibal Courier Co-Workers

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 1699

    Mark Twain declares that "recent names & things take no hold" on his "bald-headed memory; they slip-up & slide off" so he isn't sure about a Mrs. Brackett - but to the mention of names and things from thirty-five years ago, his memory is alert.
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    Abraham Lincoln Declares He is Not a

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1701

    Abraham Lincoln consents to having a law book dedicated to him, but begs "only that the inscription may be in modest terms, not representing me as a man of great learning, or a very extraordinary one in any respect."
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    Mark Twain on the San Francisco Earthquake and a Picture He Cannot Get Out of His Mind

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1708

    Though himself a writer, Mark Twain says that the picture of the San Francisco earthquake entitled "The Spirit of Humanity," expresses the tragedy of the earthquake in a way that words cannot.
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    President-Elect Garfield Turns Down a Loan to Tide Him Over Until Assuming the Presidency

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1710

    President-elect Garfield graciously turns down Edwards Pierrepont's offer of a loan to tide Garfield over until he resumed the presidency and would earn $50,000 annually.
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    David Rice Atchison Denies Ever “For a Moment” Acting as President of the United States

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1738

    This letter, written by David Rice Atchison, debunks the long-held erroneous idea that he acted as President of the United States for the 31 hours between the end of Polk's term and the beginning of Taylor's.
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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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    John Wild Bets the Black Hills Gold Rush - Set Off by Custer's Discovery of Gold There in 1864 - is a Bust

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1752

    John Wild is willing to bet that those flocking to find fortune in the Black Hills "will be disappointed by going there."
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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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    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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    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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    Albert Einstein Tells Cyril Clemens He Consents to Having a Street Named After Him - But That's All

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1781

    Here Einstein responds to Mark Twain’s third cousin once removed, that he is willing to have a street named for him in Webster Groves, Missouri, but his health won't allow for him to attend the ceremony in order to deliver a speech.
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    Einstein on the Holocaust: He Never Forgot, Never Forgave

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1782

    Einstein declines an invitation to join Weltstaatliga (World State League), explaining that he can no longer participate in German public endeavors after the genocide of the Jews.
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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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    John F. Kennedy Letter, Post-Dated November 26, 1963, Signed Before He Left for Dallas

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2181

    A letter from President Kennedy wishing Senator Dan Flood a happy birthday, dated November 26, 1963, four days after Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy had signed the letter before leaving for Dallas.
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    General Benjamin Butler: The Jews

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2182

    General Butler, discussing the arrest of two Jewish blockade-runners, displays his notorious anti-Semitism.
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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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    President Millard Fillmore Acknowledges the Gift of

    Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2034

    The Unitarian President Fillmore thanks the Presbyterian Rev. Septimus Justin for "a beautiful picture of 'ancient Jerusalem.'" Although he has only had time to glance at it, the appears to him to be well-executed.
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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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    General Custer Wants Brother Who Would Die With Him at Little Bighorn Appointed a Second Lieutenant

    Autograph Letter Signed

    3 pages

    SMC 2054

    General Custer unsuccessfully requests that his youngest brother, Boston, be appointed second lieutenant in the Seventh Cavalry. Boston was not even admitted to the US army, due to his frail health. Custer ensured his brother was with him, and ultimately died with him, by appointing him as a scout.
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    Lincoln Assassination Eyewitness Recalls Running to Fetch Dr. Liebermann Who Attended Lincoln's Deathbed

    Autograph Letter Signed

    8 pages

    SMC 2388

    Samuel Koontz ran to fetch the Russian-born Jewish Dr. Charles Henry Liebermann, who lived a scant two blocks from Ford's Theatre. The news that Liebermann was the first "important" doctor to attend Lincoln - discounting the gaggle of doctors (seven in all) from Ford's theatre - is significant. He was the first to treat him, owing to the distance between his house and the theatre.
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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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    Writing to Gideon Welles, Abraham Lincoln Attends to a Request From Jewish Congressman Leonard Myers

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2340

    Republican Congressman Leonard Myers of Pennsylvania, renowned for his dedication to civil rights, wrote to President Abraham Lincoln not infrequently on behalf of those seeking an introduction, an appointment, or something to do with the machinations of war. Here, Lincoln writes to the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, that he wishes to accommodate Myers's request to appoint Charles R. Wilson to the Naval School.
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    Republican Nominee Abraham Lincoln Mentions His Childhood Friends of Spencer County to Former Employer William Jones

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2342

    Abraham Lincoln, returning to Indiana, says it would be rather nice to see his "old Spencer County friends."
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    Teddy Roosevelt's Inauguration: TR Accepts a Gift For His 1905 Inauguration Day Suit

    Typed Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 2345

    Theodore Roosevelt eagerly accepts the gift of a fine fabric with which to make his 1905 inauguration suit.
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    Incredibly Rare Czolgosz Letter – 5 Weeks Before He Assassinated McKinley – as

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1817

    A rare and disjointed letter from Leon Czolgosz, ominously written in red ink, approximately five weeks before he would assassinate President William McKinley, signed as his alias, Fred C. Nieman.
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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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    While

    Autograph Letter Signed

    2 pages

    SMC 1822

    General Custer writes to his old classmates from Hopedale Normal College - which he attended before West Point - to tell them of the potential of a serious fortune made from their collaboration in mining in the Bighorn country.
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    Abraham Lincoln Corrects His Presidential Salary Payment, Which Credits Him With Days Not Worked

    Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1848

    Abraham Lincoln applies for his paycheck as President, and asks to be paid on the first of each month. He then realized that he started work on the fifth of the month, and immediately amends the request for the fifth of the month, lest he be paid for four days of work he did not complete.
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    Ulysses S. Grant Comments on the Refugees Who Have Fled to Constantinople

    Autograph Letter Signed

    6 pages

    SMC 1849

    In Istanbul, Grant was struck by scenes of the refugees – many of them, Bulgarian Jews – who had fled the notoriously anti-Semitic Russian invaders during the just-concluded Russo-Turkish War. Grant also discusses the gift of an Arabian horse from the sultan and the logistics involved in shipping it back to the United States.
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    Grover Cleveland, Recovering From Secret Cancer Surgery, Reports He is

    Autograph Letter Signed

    6 pages

    SMC 1970

    Recovering from his secret cancer surgery aboard a yacht a few months prior, Grover Cleveland reports to his physician and dear friend that he is having "a couple of drinks of whiskey a day, with very good results; and I smoke a cigar every day too."
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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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    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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    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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    Titanic Postcard: Rare Postcard From the Titanic - Sent at Beginning of Voyage; Ship

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1893

    Charlie Shorney writes to his father from the Titanic, telling him that the sea is calm, the ship is a "peach," and that he will be in New York next week. Charlie went down with the ship, and his body was never recovered.
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    Camille Pissarro Protests Alfred Dreyfus's Conviction

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1895

    Just five days after Zola published “J’accuse!” in the French newspaper L’Aurore, Pissarro writes to say that he wishes his name added to “the protestation against the awful judgment of the court-martial” to be published, apparently, in that crusading paper.
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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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    President James Garfield's Assassin, Charles Guiteau, Convicted and in Jail, Declares He is Not a Lunatic

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1907

    Here the disagreeable, disputatious, and insane assassin of President Garfield, Charles Guiteau, declares he is not a lunatic, and that the woman, his sister who raised him, and the brother-in-law who acted as his lawyer at his trial, are nuisances, with whom he, a convicted assassin awaiting execution in jail, wants nothing to do.
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    Millard Fillmore in Defeat:

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1914

    Millard Fillmore loses the nomination but his party maintains the Compromise measures done in his term, which he considers a greater personal victory than the presidency.
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    William Henry Harrison's Secretary Announces Harrison's Impending Death

    Autograph Letter Signed

    1 page

    SMC 1928

    President William Henry Harrison's secretary, Henry Harrison, writes to his father, Benjamin Harrison, to inform him of the impending death of the President.
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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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