Lot #19
James A. Garfield

This lot has closed

Estimate: $500+


LS signed "J. A. Garfield," one page both sides, 7.75 x 9.75, June 8, 1874. Sent from Washington by then-Congressman Garfield to his close political ally, Captain A. W. Stiles, as he prepared for the toughest political campaign of his Congressional career. In part, "If the bill for the reduction of the Army becomes a law, I have no doubt I could succeed in securing the discharge of your friend…I do not think it will pass the Senate and unless it should pass it will be nearly impossible to secure his discharge…I do not believe my enemies can find any man who can take the nomination away from me." In fine condition.

One year earlier, Garfield's entire political career had been put in jeopardy by the revelations of the Credit Mobilier scandal and the Congressional pay raise. A few months later Garfield was further damaged by the so-called DeGolyer Pavement scandal. Garfield had eloquently defended himself and, by the summer of 1874, it looked as if his popularity was returning in time for the Congressional elections. Still, his opponents, both within and outside of the Republican party, sought to block his way. In this letter, Garfield expresses confidence in his chances to be renominated by the Republican Party for his seat. His prediction proved accurate and his disappointed opponent in the Republican party ran against him as an independent. This proved to be Garfield's saving grace, splitting the anti-Garfield vote and ensuring his return to Congress.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Hollywood
  • Dates: #606 - Ended April 14, 2021

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