Lot #25
James A. Garfield

Supremely rare handwritten letter as president: three days after his inauguration, Garfield graciously accepts the resignation of the last administration's Attorney General
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Estimate: $12000+

Description

Supremely rare handwritten letter as president: three days after his inauguration, Garfield graciously accepts the resignation of the last administration's Attorney General

ALS as president, one page, 5.25 x 8.5, Executive Mansion letterhead, March 7, 1881. Letter to Attorney General Charles Devens, written three days after Garfield's inauguration as president. In full: "Permit me, in accepting your resignation as Attorney General, to express my sincere personal respect and my appreciation of the fidelity and ability with which you have served the government during the past four years." In fine condition.

Devens, who had distinguished himself as a Union general during the Civil War, served out a full four-year term as attorney general under President Rutherford B. Hayes. In keeping with tradition, Devens tendered his resignation effective on the day of President Garfield's inauguration. Garfield appointed Wayne MacVeagh to fill the role, whose time in it was brief; MacVeagh would resign shortly after Garfield's death, so that President Arthur could choose his own Attorney General. Because of his assassination, Garfield's autograph as president is extremely rare—letters especially so, this being just the second we have offered. Between its great rarity and exquisite association as a letter to a former cabinet member and fellow Civil War veteran, this is the ultimate Garfield letter.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #604 - Ended March 10, 2021





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