LS as president, one page, 7.75 x 10, June 29, 1852. Letter to Secretary of the Interior Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart, in full: "The tolling bells announce the death of the Hon. Henry Clay. Though this event has been long anticipated, yet the painful bereavement could never be fully realized. I am sure all hearts are too sad at this moment to attend to business, and I therefore respectfully suggest that your department be closed for the remainder of the day." Affixed inside to the integral leaf are a black mourning crepe and silk memorial ribbon featuring two of Clay's memorable quotes. In fine condition.
After decades of service to the nation, Henry Clay passed away from tuberculosis at 11:17 a.m. on June 29, 1852, just over an hour before this letter was written. His last major public act was an attempt to resolve the rising tensions between north and south in the Great Compromise of 1850, which President Fillmore supported. Respected as a distinguished American statesman, Clay became the first person to lie in state in the United States Capitol rotunda.
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