The personal stories and human moments of the Presidents of the United States.

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Topic

Human Aspect

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Manuscripts (401)

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Zachary Taylor Invites Relatives to the White House, Where He Will Die of

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 372

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 Todd Lincoln is Gratified That His Father's Name is Still Current and His Memory Respected

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1107

Robert Todd Lincoln is gratified to learn that a political club is named after his father. In this letter, he also declines to run for president.
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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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About to Marry, President Grover Cleveland Longs to Live Away from the White House

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1162

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

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 1164

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

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1165

President Grover Cleveland invites his Postmaster to his wedding the following Wednesday, with a hand-written invitation.
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A Contemporary Account of the William McKinley Assassination by a 15 Year-Old Girl

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1183

Edna M. Hurry, a fifteen-year-old bookkeeper, goes into striking detail in her eyewitness account of President William McKinley's assassination.
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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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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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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: a Condolence Letter on the Death of a Friend's Father

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1250

Roosevelt writes to his friend and family physician Dr. Alexander Lambert, whose father had recently passed away.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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James Buchanan Teasingly Laments His

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1676

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

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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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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Early Variant of Executive Mansion Card Signed by American President Millard Fillmore

White House Card

1 page

SMC 1067

Card signed by Millard Fillmore as President, being an early variant of a White House Card.
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President Theodore Roosevelt Signs a Mint White House Card

White House Card

1 page

SMC 1269

President Theodore Roosevelt renamed the Executive Mansion "The White House," and wastes no time ordering and signing the new White House stationery.
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Woodrow Wilson, on the Ninth Day of His Presidency, Signs a White House Card

White House Card

1 page

SMC 1316

President less than two weeks, Wilson signs this White House card – in the top left corner, as would be his wont, to protect against anything being added above his signature.
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President William McKinley Signs Executive Mansion Card on His 55th Birthday

White House Card

1 page

SMC 537

On January 29, 1898, his first birthday in the White House, President William McKinley, turning fifty-five, signed this Executive Mansion card.
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An Autograph Innovation: President Rutherford B. Hayes Signs an Executive Mansion Card

White House Card

1 page

SMC 514

Around the time of Hayes's presidency, it became fashionable to request the president's signature on Executive Mansion stationery. This card, dated, December 13, 1878, suggests that President Hayes might have filled requests for his autograph in his "down time."
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An Early, and Uncommon, Warren G. Harding White House Card Signed,

White House Card

1 page

SMC 334

The genial Harding inscribes a White House Card with a cordial sentiment - "Good wishes!" – just two months into his Administration.
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A Scarce Ronald Reagan White House Card Signed

White House Card

1 page

SMC 1485

A fine example of a rare White House Card signed by the 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
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President Cleveland Appoints Nageeb Arbeely to Replace Anti-Semitic Selah Merrill as Consul at Jerusalem

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1595

The wildly unpopular Consul at Jerusalem, Selah Merrill, is replaced by the Greek-ancestry-Syrian-born naturalized-American, Najeeb J. Arbeely.
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President William McKinley's Appointment of the Antisemitic Selah Merrill as Consul at Jerusalem

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1879

President William McKinley reinstalls Selah Merrill as consul at Jerusalem. Merrill held the post for about thirty years prior to this, his last appointment, and was widely known to revile the Jews in the Holy Land.
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President Franklin Pierce Appoints the First United States Consul to Serve in Jerusalem

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1741

President Franklin Pierce appoints Boston physician John Warren Gorham as the first United States Consul at Jerusalem on October 20, 1856.
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Leon Czolgosz's Incredibly Rare Confession to the Assassination of President William McKinley

Document Signed

2 pages

SMC 1813

Czolgosz's twice-signed confession to assassinating President McKinley, stemming from anarchist convictions.
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Passport for the Early Explorer of Jerusalem, the Reverend Eli Smith, Signed by James Buchanan

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 2068

Reverend Eli Smith, who had joined Reverend Edward Robinson as an Arabic-speaker during the latter's exploration of Biblical Jerusalem, travels to the Holy Land yet again, this time with a passport signed by then Secretary of State, James Buchanan.
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Abraham Lincoln Appoints the Arabist Edward Joy Morris as Minister Resident to Turkey

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 156

President Abraham Lincoln appoints Pennsylvania Congressman Edward Joy Morris as Minister Resident to Turkey. Morris had spent time in and written about the Levant, and as such, was suited to the post.
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Abraham Lincoln Appoints Henry Ernest Goodman as Surgeon of Civil War Union Volunteer Army

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 160

President Abraham Lincoln promotes the eminent and beloved physician, Henry Ernest Goodman, of Philadelphia, from assistant surgeon to surgeon. Edward Stanton, the Secretary of war, co-signed the document.
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President Grant Stays an Execution of African-American Who Murdered a Jewish Peddler

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 144

President Grant issues a stay of execution for Thomas Wright, an African-American who murdered Samuel Rogerski, a Jewish peddler.
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President Abraham Lincoln Appoints Jewish West Pointer Alfred Mordecai Jr. Second Lieutenant

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 445

President Abraham Lincoln appoints Alfred Mordecai Jr. a Second Lieutenant four months into the Civil War. Mordecai would climb the ranks and die a general.
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President Franklin Pierce Sets in Motion the Recall of the American Minister Resident in Turkey

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 238

President Franklin Pierce recalls the American minister resident in Turkey, George Marsh, in order to dispatch him to Greece. Pierce needed Marsh to negotiate with the Greek authorities in order to free an American Consul stationed there who had been arrested and his property seized.
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James A. Garfield's Appointment of the Anti-Semitic Selah Merrill as Consul at Jerusalem

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 438

Merrill, who held the post of U.S. Consul at Jerusalem for almost three decades – appointed by three Republican presidents – is here installed in that position for the first time by James Garfield. Cleveland would remove Merrill, but he was re-appointed by Harrison and McKinley. He is generally considered to be the greatest reviler of the Jews to ever occupy the post of consul at Jerusalem.
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President William McKinley Orders Seal Affixed to his Proclamation on the Death of Vice President Hobart

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1187

Death warrant of Vice President Garret Hobart, signed by his dear friend, President William McKinley.
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Document Signed by President William McKinley Close to His Assassination

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1190

Document signed by President William McKinley two weeks before he was fatally shot.
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On the First Day of His Second Term, William McKinley Promotes a War Hero

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1196

Promotion of war hero Lt. Commander James Kelsey Cogswell to Commander; signed by William McKinley on the first day of his second term as president.
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Abraham Lincoln Appoints Edward Joy Morris Minister to the Ottoman Empire - and by Extension, Palestine

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1099

In the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln replaces the Southern minister to the Ottoman Empire with Edward Joy Morris.
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President William McKinley Commissions a Second Lieutenant

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1179

Commission for Second Lieutenant Earnest M. Reeve, signed by President William McKinley in December of 1899.
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President Benjamin Harrison: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the Discovery of America

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1173

President Harrison leads the nation in celebrating the Columbus quadricentennial by authorizing the Seal of the United States to be affixed to a document entitled "The administration of the United States Government at the beginning of the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America."
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President Benjamin Harrison Appoints a Commissioner for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1176

President Benjamin Harrison appoints a commissioner for the exposition celebrating four hundred years since Columbus discovered America. The Exposition was held in Chicago and ran from 1 May 1893 until 30 October of that year.
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John Tyler, as President of the 1861 Washington Peace Convention, Certifies a Delegate From Massachusetts

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1050

President John Tyler, who would eventually support the secession of the Southern states, certifies Charles Allen of Massachusetts as a delegate from that state, in the failed 1861 Washington Peace Convention.
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John Tyler, as President of the 1861 Washington Peace Convention, Certifies a Vermont Delegate

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1048

President John Tyler, who would eventually support the secession of the Southern states, certifies Lucius Chittenden of Vermont, as a delegate from that state, in the failed 1861 Washington Peace Convention. Chittenden took it upon himself to take the minutes of the Conference and indeed, published them three years later.
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On His Penultimate Day in Office, President James Buchanan Pardons a Judge

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1076

President Buchanan pardons a former judge, Daniel Vandersmith, serving a sentence for forgery.
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Abraham Lincoln's Appointment of Benjamin F. Isherwood, the Creator of the Steam Navy

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1081

Benjamin Isherwood designed steamboats that would quickly outrun blockade runners. Isherwood expanded the US Navy's fleet from 28 to 600 steam vessels in the course of the Civil War. Here, President Abraham Lincoln appoints Isherwood Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering.
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Abraham Lincoln's Order That Sparked the New York City Draft Riots of 1863

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1084

Abraham Lincoln's draft order for the state of New York, which sparked riots and racially-motivated violence and murders. It was the second largest civil insurrection in American history.
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On the Last Full Day of His Life, Abraham Lincoln Makes an Important Appointment

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 878

On the last full day of his life, Abraham Lincoln appoints William Kellogg as Collector at the Port of New Orleans.
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Abraham Lincoln Carte-de-Visite Photo By Mathew Brady of Which Lincoln Said

Carte de Visite

1 page

SMC 1694

Lincoln sat for his portrait more than forty times, but he said that if he had to pick an image that looked most like him, it would be this one.
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Excessively Rare Presidential Check Signed by Zachary Taylor

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1612

Taylor, a career soldier, wrote this check to himself while stationed in Louisiana. Likely the only surviving check written by Taylor.
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Very Rare Printed Presidential Check Signed by Franklin Pierce: He Purchases Coal for the White House

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1074

With this, one of the rarest surviving presidential checks, Franklin Pierce purchased coal for the White House in September of 1854.
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One of Benjamin Harrison's First Personal Checks as President

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1177

This, one of the first personal checks signed by Benjamin Harrison as president, was written to the Treasurer of the American Bar Association, Francis Rawle of Philadelphia.
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A Very Rare President Warren G. Harding Signed Check

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1325

Exceedingly rare check signed by Warren G. Harding as President.
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Abraham Lincoln's Check to His Son, Robert Lincoln, to Equip Him For Service Under Grant

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 456

Check from Abraham Lincoln to his son, Robert Todd Lincoln. The president had finally allowed his son to serve in the war, and made sure he was sent to General Grant. This check was to ensure that his son was properly kitted out for war.
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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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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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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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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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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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Theodore Roosevelt Writes

Theodore Roosevelt Writes "Bully For You"

September 27, 1907

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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President 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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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 Blames Woodrow Wilson for the Sinking of Lusitania, Killing 1198 People in May, 1915

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1278

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

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1290

Taft says he wouldn't mind losing the election against Roosevelt, if only to have thwarted Roosevelt from gaining a third term in the White House. He calls Roosevelt "a genuine menace to the welfare of our country."
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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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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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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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FDR Ensures 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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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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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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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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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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Secretary of Navy Long: President William McKinley,

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1186

In this private note to his daughter, in which he discusses, amongst other things, a birthday present for his daughter, Naval Secretary John Long reveals that President William McKinley will absolutely not be seeking a third term.
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Theodore Roosevelt 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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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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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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John F. Kennedy's First Draft, Partially Handwritten, Letter of Condolence to Medgar Evers's Widow

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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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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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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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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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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Theodore Roosevelt Lambasts Woodrow Wilson for Refusing to Let Him Lead a Division in World War I

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2022

Fifty-nine year old, arthritic, overweight Theodore Roosevelt lambasts President Woodrow Wilson for refusing to allow him to lead a division in World War I, calling it Wilson's inability to "rise above the cheapest kind of party politics."
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On His First Day in Office,

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2051

Masking his true feelings about his predecessor, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, and twenty-eight years Eisenhower's junior, thanks him for a smooth transition of power.
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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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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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Newly Sworn-in Theodore Roosevelt Expresses 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Theodore Roosevelt Accepts a Gift of Fine Fabric From Which to Make 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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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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Signed Photo of Lyndon Johnson Taking the Oath of Office Inscribed to the Photographer

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 2076

The iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; inscribed to Cecil Stoughton, the photographer.
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A Ronald Reagan Photo in Front of the Berlin Wall, Inscribed With

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1471

Autograph quote from Ronald Reagan on a photo of him in front of the Berlin Wall near the Brandenburg gate. The famous "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
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Abraham Lincoln Signed Photo: The

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1702

One of five photographs of Abraham Lincoln taken by Mathew Brady in Washington on January 8, 1864, it is sometimes called "The Solitary Pine" pose, from the comment by Francis Grierson, who saw Lincoln debate Douglas. Lincoln, he said, "rose from his seat, stretched his long, bony limbs upwards as if to get them in working order and stood like some solitary pine on a lonely summit."
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Abraham Lincoln's Inscription on a Photograph to Lucy Speed, Who Had Gifted Him a Bible

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1097

President Abraham Lincoln expresses his gratitude to Mrs. Lucy Speed, the mother of his best friend when he was in his twenties. Mrs. Speed had given the younger melancholy Abraham Lincoln a Bible and instructed him to read it and adopt its precepts; help would follow.
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A Scarce Signed Photograph of Benjamin Harrison as President

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1243

Rare signed photograph of Benjamin Harrison as President.
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Rutherford B. Hayes Signed Photograph as President

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 1200

President Hayes inscribes this photograph for his dear friend and avid collector, Thomas Donaldson.
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Roderick Cole's 1858 Beardless Photo of Abraham Lincoln--Signed

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 383

Abraham Lincoln sat for this photo in Roderick Cole's studio in 1858, and reportedly said to Mr. Cole, "I cannot see why all you artists want a likeness of me unless it is because I am the homeliest man in the State of Illinois."
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President-Elect Lincoln Grows His Beard: This Second Photograph, Signed, Depicts the Progress

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 384

At the advice of fellow Republicans, and even an eleven-year-old girl, Abraham Lincoln decided to grow a beard. This photograph depicts the progress of Lincoln's increasingly famous beard.
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Abraham Lincoln Signed Photo from First Washington Sitting, With John Hay Note of Authentication

Signed Photograph

2 pages

SMC 216

One day after sneaking into Washington from Baltimore under cover of darkness, Lincoln, exhausted and pensive, sits as president-elect for this photo—his first taken in Washington.
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Theodore Roosevelt Inscribes Photo of His 1905 Inaugural Address With His Keystone

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 466

Theodore Roosevelt famously argued for each man not to be treated in accordance with his wealth but for his value as a person--otherwise known as a "square deal." Roosevelt emphasized this in his 1905 inaugural address, of which this is a photo with his inscription of the square deal.
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Broadside

1 page

SMC 625

South Carolina proclaims it has dissolved its bonds to the United States, becoming the first state to secede.
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Franklin Pierce Scrawls an Urgent Message on His Calling Card

Calling Card

1 page

SMC 544

This rare autographed calling card of Franklin Pierce was written in haste and left at the occupant's vacant lodgings. Pierce is sorry to have missed the person but asks that they call on him later that evening at his hotel.
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Thomas Jefferson's Visiting Card, Bearing His Signature in an Ornate Printed Border - A Rarity

Calling Card

2 pages

SMC 519

Thomas Jefferson's calling card; ornately decorated, yet inscribed with the simple "Mr. Jefferson."
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Andrew Johnson Calling Card, Signed Four Times

Calling Card

1 page

SMC 521

Andrew Johnson signed his calling card four times, and crossed out one signature and his printed name. It's possible that he did this because he was practising signing his name after his right hand was severely injured in a train wreck.
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Abraham Lincoln Swears That He Shall Not Retract or Modify the Emancipation Proclamation

Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 455

At the request of Henry C. Wright of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Lincoln vows to not retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation.
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Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 401

Lincoln writes and autographs the famous "with malice towards none" paragraph from his second inaugural address.
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JFK’s Handwritten Quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country”

Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 442

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Theodore Roosevelt: Famous

Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 252

Autographed quotation of famous "square deal" with accompanying letter to Richard Lee Fern. The square deal was Roosevelt's call for equal opportunities for every man and woman in the United States. Equality politically, socially, and in "matters industrial."
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Frederick Douglass Quotes Abraham Lincoln:

Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 296

Frederick Douglass, who was asked by Abraham Lincoln himself what Douglas thought of his second inaugural speech, here autographs the famous Lincolnian quotation from that address.
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President Rutherford B. Hayes Quotes Abraham Lincoln on Equal Opportunities for All

Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 1202

President Rutherford B. Hayes quotes Abraham Lincoln, calling for all to have "an equal start and a fair chance in the race of life."
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Autograph Quotation Signed

1 page

SMC 1551

Lincoln writes and autographs the famous "both sides deprecated war" passage from his second inaugural address.
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Famous Painting by John Falter of the 1912 Attempted Assassination of Theodore Roosevelt

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 1540

This painting depicts the exact moment when Theodore Roosevelt rose to give a speech, and his secretary - an ex-football player named Elbert H. Martin - glimpsed the gun and leapt from the car onto the would-be assassin.
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A Last Thing Signed: John F. Kennedy Autographs a Dallas Newspaper on the Morning of His Murder There

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 2168

An edition of The Dallas Morning News signed by President John F. Kennedy on the morning of his assassination. Kennedy was shot at 12:30, making it very likely that this was the last thing he ever signed.
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1856 Poll Book Certifying Abraham Jonas, Lincoln's Intimate Jewish Friend, an Elector

Ephemera

3 pages

SMC 2176

Abraham Lincoln appears alongside one of his best friends, a British born Jew named Abraham Jonas, in an 1856 poll book.
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Ephemera

1 page

SMC 2356

Newspaper from the morning after Kennedy's Assassination. Kennedy had signed the same newspaper on the very day of his assassination.
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1861 Lincoln Inaugural Ball Invitation Printed By, and Naming as a Ball Manager, Adolphus S. Solomons

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 2367

Rare invitation to Abraham Lincoln's inaugural ball, prominently featuring the name of the Jewish manager and printer of the invitation, Adolphus S. Solomons, twice.
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Pass to President Abraham Lincoln's Funeral in the East Room of the Executive Mansion

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 1116

Pass to Lincoln's funeral, on Wednesday, April 19, 1865.
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An Anti-Copperhead Broadside Denouncing Former President Franklin Pierce as a Traitor

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 976

The Copperheads were northern Democrats who blamed the abolitionists for the Civil War and wished to see Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power. This broadside is a Republican plea to voters to ponder-and ultimately reject-the traitorous nature of the Copperheads and their ringleader, Franklin Pierce. Shortly after this broadside appeared, Lincoln was victorious in his reelection campaign.
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Unused Ticket for Ford's Theatre April 14, 1865 - The Night Lincoln Was Assassinated There

Ephemera

2 pages

SMC 214

Unused Ticket for Ford's Theatre April 14, 1865 - The Night Lincoln Was Assassinated There. Autograph note signed in the hand of famed coin dealer James W. Haseltine, dated July 14, 1865, certifying that this original ticket, for the night Lincoln was assassinated, was presented to him by James R. Ford.
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Harper's Weekly With Illustrated Story About Five Union Soldiers, Including a Jew, Executed for Desertion

Ephemera

3 pages

SMC 650

Original Harper's Weekly for September 26, 1863 about the execution of five Union deserters at Beverly Ford; with illustrations.
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Rare Ticket to

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 710

Ticket to the Democratic Party's welcome dinner in honor of President Kennedy; it was to be held in Austin in the evening of the day he was shot in Dallas.
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Young John F. Kennedy Condemns Harry Truman's Reversal to Support the Partition of Palestine

Autograph Manuscript

2 pages

SMC 149

At a dinner of Jewish veterans, John F. Kennedy, then a congressman from Massachusetts, condemns Harry Truman's withdrawal of support for the partition of Palestine as "one of the most unfortunate reversals in American policy. Kennedy also called for the US to lift the arms embargo in order to give Israel a chance to protect herself in the ensuing war.
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Mark Twain Excoriates Theodore Roosevelt as a Butcher, a Ruffian and a Bully

Autograph Manuscript

4 pages

SMC 1706

In an unpublished article, Mark Twain excoriates Theodore Roosevelt for bullying a fifteen-year-old girl and for promoting a man who, it was well known, was "brutal" to a woman in a waiting room.
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Abraham Lincoln’s Final Hours, Death, and Autopsy Report Documented by Dr. Robert Stone

Autograph Manuscript

7 pages

SMC 1844

An account of Lincoln's death, written by his personal physician, Dr. Robert K. Stone. This seven-page narrative details Dr. Stone’s dramatic rush to the stricken president’s side, and, some eight hours later, Lincoln’s final minutes, decline, death, and autopsy. The report is stained with human blood; it is, very likely, Lincoln’s.
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A Gift in Wartime: Lincoln Requests a

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 2038

Lincoln, who always liked to give his son Tad special gifts, asks here for two maps for his son.
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Lincoln Card:

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1602

A Lincoln card, submitted to his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton on April 20, 1863. This was a busy day for Lincoln, as he was dealing with admitting West Virginia into the Union, fighting in many southern states, and a large force patrolling central Tennessee. This is a small portion of what Lincoln had on his desk that day, and any number of these issues could have concerned Stanton.
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As Lee Surrenders, Abraham Lincoln Happily Grants a Favor to the Captain of the Riverboat Queen

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 123

The only surviving Lincoln letter from April 9th, 1865, the day that Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of North Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at the home of Wilmer and Virginia McLean in the town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Written aboard the "River Queen" on the Potomac, President Lincoln grants a favor to the steamboat's Captain Bradford.
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Three Days Before He is Assassinated, Abraham Lincoln Orders the Discharge of a Sickly Boy from the Army

Autograph Note Signed

4 pages

SMC 211

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

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 212

On his last birthday, Abraham Lincoln pardons mischievous schoolboys, allowing them to return to school on condition that they do not misbehave.
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Abraham Lincoln Endorses the Appointment of a Jewish Sutler, Henry Rice

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 193

Abraham Lincoln endorses General Alexander McClernand's pick for the position of sutler, Henry Rice.
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Two Days After Unleashing a Tempest by Firing MacArthur, President Truman Writes to a Journalist

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 699

President Truman writes to Merriman Smith, perhaps in response to something Smith had said to the President, a prediction, seemingly, about the great news of the day – Truman’s firing of MacArthur two days before – that inspired this note, with which Truman apparently forwarded “an interesting piece” he had run across in his hometown paper.
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General Eisenhower Approves a Soldier's Request to Shoot Captured Reich Marshal Goering -

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 702

Eisenhower had ordered every soldier not on the front to tour a concentration camp in order to understand not only the magnitude of the Holocaust, but the enemy itself. As a result, one soldier put in a request to shoot Hermann Goering, if he was indeed to be shot. Goering was sentenced to death by hanging, but took his own life in his cell. Here, Eisenhower refers to the corpulent Goering as "that fat ___"
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A Historic Memo: Harry Truman Salutes Dean Acheson's Crucial Role in Going to War With Korea

Autograph Note Signed

2 pages

SMC 685

President Harry Truman commends Dean Acheson as Secretary of State for superbly handling events leading up to the Korean War.
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Lincoln Would be Glad to See General Milroy but knows

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 570

Abraham Lincoln gracefully sidesteps a meeting with the problematic General Milroy, who was arrested for losing half of his troops. Milroy railed against his superiors, who jailed him for his actions, and continuously pestered Lincoln for his release and restoration to command.
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The Day He Dies, Lincoln Writes a Pass to Richmond for Wife of the Doctor Who Would Attend His Death-Bed

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 575

Lincoln issues a pass for Mrs. Alice Stone to travel to Richmond; by that night her husband, the Lincoln family physician, would be attending at Lincoln’s deathbed.
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Lincoln, Four Days After Son Willie's Death, Tells Sumner Mary Lincoln Needs His Help -

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1034

Four days after the death of his eleven year-old son Willie - and as his youngest son still lay seriously ill - a grieving Lincoln asks Mary Lincoln's close friend, Senator Charles Sumner, to call on his inconsolable wife.
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Lincoln Interjects Himself Into a Case of Two Jewish Merchants Charged With Selling Goods to Blockaders

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1038

Meyer and Philip Wallach were Jewish brothers who were charged with selling goods to blockaders and were held at an infamous prison for Confederate officers. Here, President Lincoln protects them by ordering the head of the prison to keep them in his custody - to neither send them away or allow them to be transferred.
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President John F. Kennedy

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 901

John F. Kennedy signs a quote to the photographer, who had recently captured him "on the edge of the new frontier."
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Physician of Assassinated President William McKinley Quotes McKinley's Last Words

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1182

Matthew D. Mann, the physician who tended to President William McKinley on his deathbed, confirms McKinley's fabled last words.
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John Quincy Adams Signs a Card Depicting William Henry Harrison's (Alleged) Log Cabin Birthplace

Card Signed

1 page

SMC 498

Here, ex-President and incumbent Congressman John Quincy Adams has indited his signature on a calling card-size piece of William Henry Harrison campaign memorabilia: an embossed card with an elaborate vignette of Harrison’s log cabin birthplace.
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A Secret Service Agent's Account of the Reagan Assassination Attempt, Signed by Reagan

Autograph Sentiment Signed

4 pages

SMC 257

Jerry Parr, who is credited with saving Ronald Reagan's life, gives his account of the assassination attempt. Everything that happened in the three seconds between the first pop of gunfire to the door of the presidential limo slamming shut, is broken down into slow-motion, from the moment Reagan leaves for his luncheon at the Washington Hilton, to his remarks prior to entering surgery.
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A Handsome Autograph Sentiment from Millard Fillmore as President

Autograph Sentiment Signed

1 page

SMC 1068

Autograph from Millard Fillmore to an unknown recipient, Washington, February 20, 1851. The day after he delivered to Congress his report on the Fugitive Slave Law crisis.
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Herbert Hoover Describes Himself

Autograph Sentiment Signed

1 page

SMC 1657

In this autographed sentiment signed, Herbert Hoover describes himself as "once of Washington D.C., now, fortunately elsewhere."
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Abraham Lincoln Exercises Clemency:

Autograph Endorsement Signed

1 page

SMC 1811

Abraham Lincoln directs the release of "this boy" who had enlisted in the Union Army and received the standard bonus. Whether the boy was underage, AWOL, or a bounty-jumper(one of many who signed up for the enlistment bonus and then deserted) is unknown.
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Millard Fillmore Asks Lincoln for a Favor; On the Back of the Letter, Lincoln Takes Steps to Oblige Him

Autograph Endorsement Signed

1 page

SMC 1065

Former President Fillmore asks President Lincoln to intercede on behalf of his nephew, a disgraced lieutenant. On the verso of the letter, Lincoln takes steps to oblige Fillmore, but ultimately did not intervene in the case.
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Abraham Lincoln Queries the Surgeon General of the Army About an Appointment

Autograph Endorsement Signed

1 page

SMC 209

Lincoln asks William Alexander Hammond, the Surgeon General of the Union Army if a Mr. Bushnell should be appointed be appointed. Hammond replies in the affirmative, as there is a place for Bushnell at Louisville.
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Herbert Hoover's Handwritten List of His Autograph Collection

Autograph Note

5 pages

SMC 329

Herbert Hoover knew the value of his handwritten letters, as he himself was a collector of autographs. Amongst his collection was Mark Twain, Queen Victoria, and, most valuable, according to Hoover, a letter of Bayard Taylor – the poet, travel writer, and great chronicler of Palestine and the Levant.
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Notes Written by President John F. Kennedy Aboard Air Force One

Autograph Note

7 pages

SMC 711

These notes, written by President Kennedy aboard Air Force One illustrate how the most important world events, like our mundane tasks, often begin with the same shorthand scrawlings.
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Autograph Note

2 pages

SMC 955

President John Tyler accepts an engagement on the condition that no presidential duties get in the way. Since he ascended the presidency merely upon the death of President William Henry Harrison, he was referred to by his detractors as "His Accidency." Here Tyler demonstrates his sense of humor and refers to himself as "an accident," explaining that things might occur which would cause him to break the engagement.
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John F. Kennedy's Famous

Typed Manuscript

20 pages

SMC 1449

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Quintessential Reagan Speech: He's Sick About RFK's Assassination, About Lawlessness, About Blame

Typed Manuscript

19 pages

SMC 163

Ronald Reagan, speaking here after weeks of unrest at university campuses, the slaying of policemen, and finally, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, takes the current leadership to task for allowing the country to be torn apart.
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Extraordinary Eyewitness Account of the Assassination of President McKinley-Dated One Day After

Typed Manuscript Signed

8 pages

SMC 183

De Benneville Randolph Keim, a Washington reporter, was standing right by McKinley when he was assassinated. He took an active role in responding, including carrying the mortally wounded president to an ambulance. This is his account of the assassination.
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President Taft's Eulogy for his Aide, Archibald Butt, Who Went Down with the Titanic Just Days Before

Typed Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 366

President Taft mourns his aide and friend Archibald Butt, who went down on the Titanic. Butt was a gentleman and a soldier, and, Taft is certain, would have gallantly gone down with the ship, after seeing to the rescue of others. Butt was last seen standing on the sinking deck with John Jacob Astor.
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Manuscript of Vachel Lindsay's

Typed Manuscript Signed

4 pages

SMC 1111

Manuscript of Vachel Lindsay's "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight" with an early letter from the poet to the Springfield Art Society. Lindsay had conceived of the idea to have a contest in order to design a flag for the city of Springfield. However, he makes it clear in this letter that he wants to have "no hand in the matter."
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Harry Truman Manuscript on the “Settlement of the Palestine Question”

Autograph Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 994

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Abraham Lincoln on Issachar Zacharie, His Mysterious Jewish Foot Doctor and Personal Spy

Autograph Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 407

Here, Lincoln describes Issachar Zacharie's removal of corns from the President's feet in order to alleviate "what plain people call back-ache." The two would meet frequently, though not for medical reasons. Zacharie served as a spie, and provided the President with valuable information about various aspects of the Confederacy.
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Lincoln's Second Testimonial for Issachar Zacharie, His Mysterious Jewish Chiropodist - And Personal Spy

Autograph Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 1906

In the midst of a hectic schedule, President Lincoln finds the time to endorse Issachar Zacharie, his Jewish chiropodist and spy: the same week as the bloody Battle of Antietam, and the same day Lincoln read his Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet.
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A Leaf from Abraham Lincoln's Earliest Handwritten Manuscript, His Homemade Student

Autograph Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 2233

His education, Lincoln said, was deficient: it lasted, formally, but a year. At 16 years old, Lincoln created a personal notebook, known then as a sum book. Here, amid arithmetical calculations, he also writes a piece of doggerel, daydreaming about his future.
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Rare, Seemingly Singular Evidence, That John F. Kennedy Knew How to Fly: His 1944 Flight Logbook

Signed Book

3 pages

SMC 2074

John F. Kennedy's flight logbook of 1944, in which he took ten solo lessons. No existent documentation exists to explain Kennedy's choice; an odd one, as just that year, he discouraged his brother Bobby from flying, and was growing increasingly anxious about the number of fatalities in his older brother Joe's aviation unit. Joe would be shot down later that year in a secret mission over France.
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Lincoln-Douglas Debates Book Inscribed By Abraham Lincoln in Ink to His Old Law Partner Logan: A Rarity

Signed Book

1 page

SMC 638

The Lincoln-Douglas debates over slavery occasioned, in Lincoln, the most audacious rise from obscurity to political prominence in American history. The printing of the debates ensured the ongoing discussion, as well as ensconced them firmly in the American consciousness of the nineteenth century.
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One of the Last Things Signed by William McKinley: A Souvenir Booklet from the Pan-American Exposition

Signed Book

16 pages

SMC 233

President William McKinley was assassinated on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo; it's very possible this souvenir booklet was the very last thing he signed.
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Abraham Lincoln's Family Physician, Robert K. Stone, Signed 1842 Book About a Miraculous Cure

Signed Book

1 page

SMC 1113

The pro-slavery, prestigious ophthalmologist, Dr. Robert K. Stone, served as the Lincoln's family doctor. Here, Stone affixes his signature to a book detailing the miraculous recovery of an ailing woman, cured by taking communion.
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Lawyer Abraham Lincoln Defends Farmer in Dispute Over Hogs

Autograph Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1089

Legal brief from a case in which Abraham Lincoln, in his time known as one of the top lawyers in the country, unsuccessfully defends a farmer in a dispute over a verbal agreement about the price of hogs.
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Abraham Lincoln: A December 8 Oath of Allegiance

Autograph Document Signed

1 page

SMC 352

The Oath of December 8 was announced by Lincoln, on that day, in his annual message to congress in 1863. He would offer a pardon to any man who would swear, without coercion, his allegiance to the Union.
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Gideon Welles is Summoned to Abraham Lincoln's Last, and Prophetic, Cabinet Meeting

Autograph Document

1 page

SMC 1739

Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, is summoned to President Lincoln's last cabinet meeting, held hours before Lincoln's assassination.
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Rare Signed Copy of Lincoln's Jewish Chiropodist and Spy, Dr. Issachar Zacharie's Book

Signed Book Inscribed

3 pages

SMC 676

Rare signed copy of Dr. Issachar Zacharie's book "Surgical and Practical Observations on the Diseases of the Human Foot." His book, was most likely plagiarized, and his credentials, equally as likely to be false.
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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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President William McKinley Wires Ailing Vice President Garret Hobart

Autograph Telegram Signed

1 page

SMC 917

Immediately after returning to Washington from visiting the ailing Garret Hobart in New Jersey, McKinley wires him to inquire after his health. Less than three months later, heart disease would finally claim Hobart's life.
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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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A Rare Original Watercolor by John F. Kennedy of the Kennedy Palm Beach Home in 1955

Signed Drawing

1 page

SMC 1452

Likely one of Kennedy's last watercolors, inscribed and gifted to Dot Tubridy, a close family friend of the Kennedys.
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