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Lot #7
James Buchanan

The future president grants a favor to a future Confederate general

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The future president grants a favor to a future Confederate general

ALS at the conclusion of a letter sent by future Confederate Major General William Smith, one page both sides, 8 x 10, the original letter dated February 26, 1846, Buchanan’s reply dated May 20, 1846. Smith writes, in part: “Permit me to ask for my young friend G. W. Carr the honor of your acquaintance. He is the son of one of our most estimable citizens, with whom I served several years in our Senate & with whom it has been my privilege to have the most friendly relations. Young Carr himself, of the highest character, has a strong taste for the bugle’s note, the neighing, & the ‘pride, pomp, & circumstance of glorious war’….” Buchanan, then secretary of state, responds thus: “Colonel Carr of Albemarle, the father of the young gentleman introduced to me by the foregoing letter from the Governor of Virginia, is well known as one of the truest & most unwavering Democrats in the State. Young Mr. Carr is recommended in the strongest terms by Mr. [Thomas] Jefferson Randolph [grandson of the third president] to whom he has been known from his childhood, as peculiarly fitted for a Cavalry Officer, & this fitness is strongly indicated by his appearance & deportment. Feeling confident that he would do credit to the corps, ti would afford me pleasure to see him appointed to the Lieutenancy in the mounted Regiment to which he aspires.” William Smith (1797–1887), then Governor of Virginia, was one of the oldest Confederate generals in the Civil War, in which he commanded troops while in his mid-to-late sixties. Intersecting folds (vertical fold to first name), mild wrinkling, a few small tears, chips, and blots to Smith’s text, and faint show-through of ink, otherwise fine, clean condition. Buchanan is uncommon in this format. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #331 - Ended March 12, 2008