Remarkable collection of presidential autographs representing a complete set from George Washington through William H. Taft, uniformly affixed to large off-white sheets custom-bound into a beautiful red leather volume with gilt-stamped titles and a hand-illuminated title page, each page preceded by a large engraving depicting the president. Items include:
1. George Washington
Revolutionary War–dated full free frank, measuring 13.25 x 8.25 unfolded with a 6.75 x 3.5 center panel, addressed in another hand to “His Excellency, Governor Clinton, Poughkeepsie,” and crisply franked in the lower left, “G:o Washington.” “Public Service” is also penned in the upper right in another hand. Docketed along the bottom edge, “20th April 1783, Gen’l Washington’s Letter requesting to see the Govr. at Hd. Qtrs. tomorrow morning.”
Washington’s letter concerned negotiations with British officer Sir Guy Carleton upon Congress’s proclamation of April 18th announcing the ‘Cessation of Hostilities between the United States of America and the King of Great Britain.’ Washington desired a meeting with New York Governor George Clinton to discuss these negotiations, as the last area under British control was Manhattan and thus of serious interest to Clinton. It was agreed that British prisoners of war scattered throughout the United States would be marched to New York, whereupon they would return to Great Britain. Evacuation Day came on November 25th, when the last British troops departed from Manhattan.
2. John Adams
Partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 11.75 x 9.25, April 2, 1800. President Adams unto “John Matthews, Selah Heart, Elizabeth Sumner, Joseph Thompson, Jonathan Meigs Jun’r, a certain tract of land estimated to contain Four Thousand acres being…appropriated for satisfying warrants for military service.” Beautifully signed at the conclusion by Adams and countersigned by Secretary of State Timothy Pickering.
3. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
Partly-printed DS, signed “Th: Jefferson” as president and “James Madison” as secretary of state, one page, 18 x 17, October 8, 1807. Four-language ship’s papers issued to “John Magrath, master or commander of the Brig called the Hope…lying at present in the port of Wilmington bound for New York and laden with Sundries as p. Manifest.” Boldly signed in the center by President Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison. The white paper seal affixed to the left side remains fully intact.
4. James Madison
Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 19 x 16.25, September 7, 1809. Four-language ship’s papers issued to “John Barnard master or commander of the Ship called the Hero…lying at present in the port of New York bound for Lisbon and laden with Rice, flour, Tobacco, Turpentine, Rosin, Varnish, Beef, Ashes, Beeswax, Cotton & Staves.” Crisply signed in the center by Madison and countersigned by Secretary of State Robert Smith. The white paper seal affixed to the left side remains fully intact.
5. James Madison and James Monroe
Partly-printed vellum DS, signed “James Madison” as president and “Jas. Monroe” as secretary of state, one page, 11 x 15, April 1, 1812. Scallop-topped ship’s pass issued to “the Ship Emily, Andrew Scott master or commander…To Pass with her Company Passengers Goods and Merchandize without any hinderance seizure or molestation.” Signed at the conclusion by President Madison and Secretary of State Monroe.
6. James Monroe and John Quincy Adams
Partly-printed vellum DS, signed “James Monroe” as president and “John Quincy Adams” as secretary of state, one page, 10 x 13, September 22, 1819. Scallop-topped ship’s pass issued to “the Brig Wilmot of Savannah, Wilton Hathaway master or commander…To Pass with her Company Passengers Goods and Merchandize without any hinderance seisure or molestation.” Signed at the conclusion by President Monroe and Secretary of State Adams. The white paper seal affixed to the lower left remains mostly intact with a trimmed bottom edge.
7. Andrew Jackson
Partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 15.25 x 10, August 1, 1831. President Jackson grants James W. Burn of Montgomery County a parcel of land “at Cahaba, Alabama, containing eighty five acres.” Prominently signed at the conclusion by President Jackson and countersigned by Commissioner of the General Land Office Elijah Hayward. The white paper seal affixed to the lower left remains partially intact.
8. Martin Van Buren
Partly-printed DS signed “M. Van Buren,” one page, 10.25 x 13.75, April 4, 1831. Official passport, in part: “The Undersigned Secretary of State of the United States of America, hereby request all whom it may concern, to permit safely and freely to pass William Geisse, a Citizen of the United States.” Signed at the conclusion by Secretary of State Van Buren.
9. William Henry Harrison
ADS signed “Will’m Henry Harrison,” one page, 7.5 x 6, May 18, no year but circa 1801–1812. In part: “Before me William Henry Harrison Gover[nor of] said Territory personally appeared Matthew…to whom was administered the oath of office prescribed by law, & that to support the Constitution pf the United States.” Signed at the conclusion by Harrison as governor of the Indiana Territory.
10. John Tyler
ALS, one page, 4.5 x 3, August 20, 1858. In full: “You will find under written my autograph-signature which I send in compliance with your request.”
11. James K. Polk and James Buchanan
Partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 14.5 x 12.5, March 26, 1846. President Polk officially recognizes that “Carlos Le Baron has been appointed Vice Consul of Portugal for the Port of Mobile and the State of Alabama.” Signed at the conclusion by President Polk and countersigned by Secretary of State Buchanan. The white paper seal affixed to the lower left remains fully intact.
12. Zachary Taylor
Manuscript DS signed “Z. Taylor Col. Comdg,” one page, 8 x 5.75, September 21, 1833. Fort Crawford quartermaster returns document, boldly approved at the conclusion by Taylor as the fort’s commander.
13. Millard Fillmore
LS as president, one page both sides, 8 x 10, December 11, 1852. Letter to “Messrs. M. R. Brewer & Benjn Drake,” marked “Private.” In part: “I was honored and flattered yesterday, by the receipt of your favor…inviting me on behalf of the Clay Festival Association of the City of New York, to deliver an eulogium upon the life and service of the late Honble. Henry Clay…My time will necessarily be entirely occupied during the present session of Congress, by official duties, and after my term of office shall have expired I shall probably be quite unsettled for some time, with the preparations incidental to a change of residence.”
14. Franklin Pierce
DS as president, one page, 19.5 x 16.25, September 3, 1855. Four-language ship’s papers issued to “Joshua Lym master or commander of the Barque called Isabella…lying at present in the port of New Bedford bound for Pacific Ocean and laden with Provisions, Staves and utensils for a whaling voyage.” Crisply signed in the center by President Pierce and countersigned by Secretary of State William L. Marcy. The white paper seal affixed in the center remains crisp and fully intact.
15. James Buchanan
Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 12.75 x 9, March 8, 1858. President Buchanan appoints Herman H. Heath as “Deputy Postmaster at Dubuque, in the State of Iowa.” Crisply signed at the conclusion by President Buchanan and countersigned by Secretary of State Lewis Cass. The white paper seal affixed to the lower left remains fully intact.
16. Abraham Lincoln
Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 15.5 x 12.5, September 4, 1861. President Lincoln appoints James C. Derby of New York as “Consul of the United States of America at San Juan, Porto Rico.” Signed at the conclusion by President Lincoln and countersigned by Secretary of State William H. Seward.
17. Andrew Johnson
Manuscript DS as president, one page, 8 x 10, July 5, 1865. Document issued from the “Executive Office,” in full: “Ferdinand Andrews is hereby appointed to discharge the duties of second auditor of the Treasury during the absence of E. B. French, the auditor.” Signed at the conclusion by President Johnson.
18. U. S. Grant
Ink signature, “U. S. Grant, General,” on an off-white 4 x 2.5 War Department card addressed in another hand to Mr. E. D. Bradford and dated December 13, 1867.
19. Rutherford B. Hayes
Partly-printed DS as president, signed “R. B. Hayes,” one page, 16 x 12, October 24, 1879. President Hayes appoints M. C. Hooker “to be Notary Public for the District of Columbia.” Signed at the conclusion by President Hayes and countersigned by Secretary of State William M. Evarts. The white seal affixed to the lower left remains intact with one tip missing.
20. James A. Garfield
LS signed “J. A. Garfield,” one page, 7.75 x 10, October 23, 1869. Letter to Henry Villard, in part: “I am at work on the Census Paper and will make it as valuable as time and circumstances will permit. I shall leave here on Tuesday so as to be at the meeting Tuesday Evening. I shall stop at the ‘Metropolitan’ where I hope to see you. I hope it will be so I can read my paper to you before I present it to the Association. The danger is of making it too long.”
21. Chester A. Arthur
Partly-printed DS signed “C. A. Arthur,” one page, 8 x 6, June 5, 1875. A loyalty oath devised by the “Act of July 2, 1862,” in part: “I, James McCoy, do solemnly swear that I have never voluntarily borne arms against the United States since I have been a Citizen thereof…I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by Arthur.
22. Grover Cleveland
TLS, one page, 8.5 x 8, January 18, 1905. Letter to James C. Young, in part: “I am not sure that I have expressed to you my thanks for the book which you kindly sent me, entitled ‘Fantasma.’ In any event, I desire to assure you now that this courtesy on your part is fully appreciated.”
23. Benjamin Harrison
TLS signed “Benj. Harrison,” one page, 5 x 7.75, personal letterhead, November 19, 1896. Letter to T. & J. W. Johnson & Co. of Philadelphia, in full: “I have your letter and also the copy of Chief Justice Sharswood’s essay on professional ethics. I am very much obliged to you for the book, but I cannot just now speak of its contents, for I am too busy to give the book even a hasty examination. That the subject of legal ethics should have a permanent place in the law schools I think all lawyers will agree.”
24. William McKinley
LS signed “W. McKinley, Jr.,” one page, 5.25 x 9, Committee on Ways and Means letterhead, August 22, 1890. Letter to J. M. Dalzell, in part: “I will be glad to aid you in the settlement of the claim referred to if possible.”
25. Theodore Roosevelt
TLS, one page, 7.5 x 3.75, State of New York Executive Chamber letterhead, November 10, 1900. Letter to Thomas Fryer, in full: “I thank you heartily for your congratulations. It is always a pleasure to hear from you at any time.” The McKinley-Roosevelt ticket had won the presidential election of November 6, and this letter is surely a response to congratulations on Roosevelt’s election as vice president.
26. William H. Taft
TLS signed “Wm. H. Taft,” one page, 5.5 x 8.5, War Department letterhead, June 30, 1908. Letter to Edward B. Clark, in full: “I have received your kind telegram of the 19th of June with much pleasure, and thank you for remembering me.”
The volume also includes a typed letter bearing a stamped signature of Woodrow Wilson. In overall very good to fine condition; the majority of the pieces have been tastefully trimmed to fit the confines of the volume, but none of the text has been affected. If desired, please call or email for specific condition details on particular items in this collection. Further descriptions and images are available online at RRAuction.com.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.