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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
383   Mathew Brady  $200 Unopened $200 0 You must login to place a bid.

#383 - Mathew Brady

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Mathew Brady's financial woes in 1865
Description                           Estimate: $2,400+          

ANS signed “B,” at the top of a letter to Brady from Elijah Cook, nephew of pioneer photographer Charles D. Fredricks, four pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 8, November 25, [1865], discussing business and mentioning the delivery of $200 to his aunt. Cook's letter reads, in part: “My desire was to have written you before but have had those d—n chills several times since your letter of the 16th was recd which was not until the 21st as I was too unwell to come to town. My Uncle before he sailed spoke to me of the note and told me how to act about it. The money is to be given to my Aunt by me for her household expenses in addition to what my uncle sends her. And now I'll tell you how you can arrange it, as I have read your letter to her. If you send on the interest and $200— (more if you can) to me on or before the (5th) fifth of Dec. it will be credited on the old note…the balance you can pay in two or three months…I would like to postpone my marriage for 2 months if it were possible, as it would give me a chance to settle up with Funston, when there is considerable due me, and also to get my money from our old artillery Brigade of which, thank God, there is now a chance.” At the top of the first page, Brady writes: "You will notice by the words underlined that the money was to have been handed to Mrs. Fredricks—that is why I sent it to him instead of Mrs. F. direct." In fine condition, with several words and passages underlined in purple ink (most probably by Brady), intersecting folds, and a mild shade of overall toning. Following his enormous success chronicling the Civil War, Mathew Brady faced a drastic decline in business when the war came to a close; the country was ready to move on, and demand for his work disappeared. At the time that he penned this note, he was optimistically preparing an exhibition at the New York Historical Society's gallery. Hoping to sell the collection to the Society for their permanent collection, he believed his financial worries to be over. When the deal fell through shortly after, Brady was devastated. This highly desirable correspondence associated with fellow photographer Charles D. Fredricks—enhanced by the exceedingly rare handwritten note from Brady—offers an incredible connection between two pioneers of American photography at a trying time in the industry. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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