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20   Millard Fillmore  $200 $200 $220 1 You must login to place a bid.

#20 - Millard Fillmore

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Civil War–dated ALS, one page both sides, 5 x 7.75, September 21, 1861. Letter to Dr. Cyrus Powers, nephew of his late wife Abigail. In part: “I have this moment received your letter…informing me that you have applied to the State Medical Examiners for a certificate, and contemplate offering your services as surgeon to some Regiment in the U.S. Army, and requesting of me a letter of recommendation to the appointing power, which, as I have known you long & have a favorable opinion of your professional skill, I should most cheerfully give but for the fact that, I do not interfere in any appointments. I have never recommended any one for office to those who have succeeded on in the administration of the government, for the reason that self respect forbids that I should ask a favor, and respect for the ‘powers that be’ forbids that I should volunteer advice to them—But I deem it every man’s duty at this time to serve the country as best he can and I therefore sincerely hope that you will offer your services and be accepted.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds and show-through from writing on opposing sides of the page. Dr. Powers did successfully receive the appointment, serving as assistant surgeon in the 75th Regiment and later with the 160th Regiment. Van Buren had great respect for the executive office’s ability to make official appointments, even touching upon the responsibility in his 1850 State of the Union, saying that he regarded it ‘as a sacred trust, to be exercised with the sole view of advancing the prosperity and happiness of the people.’ A great letter that describes the former president’s views on both political influence and service to one’s country during wartime. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.

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