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54   William McKinley  $200 $220 $242 3 You must login to place a bid.

#54 - William McKinley

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Two decades prior to his own assassination, McKinley arranges the “memorial services of the late President Garfield”
Description                           Estimate: $800 - $1,000          

ALS signed “Wm. McKinley, Jr.,” one page, 5 x 8, House of Representatives Committee of Ways and Means letterhead, no date but circa February 1882. Letter to Senator John Sherman. In full: “The House Sub Committee on the memorial services of the late President Garfield will be glad to meet your committee this afternoon. Can you arrange such a meeting.” Sherman responds in a note below, initialed, “J. S.,” in part, “It will be difficult as I have charge of a pending Bill.” In fine condition. Accompanied by a a memorial services card honoring Garfield bearing facsimile signatures of both McKinley and Sherman, as well as an unsigned cabinet photo of McKinley.

This letter presents a remarkable series of connections and parallels between Garfield, McKinley, and Sherman. All were Ohio natives, and Garfield had been serving in Congress alongside McKinley at the time of the 1880 Republican National Convention. Having just been named to the Senate with Sherman’s support, Garfield attended the RNC with the sole intention of advocating for his colleague’s presidential candidacy; in fact, it was Garfield who gave the nomination speech for Sherman. However, Garfield emerged from the convention as the candidate after Sherman continuously failed to earn enough votes. He had not taken his seat in the Senate before being elected president in November, and the Ohio legislature appointed Sherman to the Senate in his place. Garfield’s election as president also resulted in his departure from the House Ways and Means Committee, and McKinley was selected to fill that position. It is in these exact positions that McKinley and Sherman exchanged this piece of correspondence. The official Congressional memorial for Garfield was held in the United States Capitol on February 27, 1882. McKinley went on to be elected president in the 1896 election, and he appointed Sherman to his cabinet as secretary of state. Like Garfield, McKinley was shot and killed by an assassin while in office—he died almost twenty years to the day that President Garfield succumbed to his wounds. All together extraordinary content relating these two tragic presidents. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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