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25   James Buchanan  $200 $636 $700 12 You must login to place a bid.
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#25 - James Buchanan

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The future president snubs “an invitation from the Queen”

ALS, one page, 4.5 x 7, no date but circa 1853–1856. Letter to J. H. Dillon, likely written while serving as US minister to Great Britain. In part: “On my return home last night from the House of Commons I found an invitation from the Queen for Miss Lane & myself to dinner for today. This being considered a command in England, I do most sincerely regret, that I shall not be able to comply.” In fine condition. Buchanan’s position as minister to Great Britain lasted from 1853 to 1856, and was the office he held immediately preceding the presidency; he returned to the US in early 1856, aware that he was being considered as the Democratic nominee for the upcoming presidential election, although he was not at first actively seeking the role. This is an especially fascinating letter as he declines a dinner invitation from Queen Victoria—a rare occasion, as common etiquette suggested that the invitation was more of a command than a request. Still, Buchanan and Queen Victoria remained on cordial terms—two years into Buchanan’s presidency, they exchanged the inaugural telegrams via the first transatlantic cable on August 16, 1858. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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