Lot #76
Franklin Pierce Autograph Letter Signed as President

"I am vigor itself"—President Pierce writes from New Jersey's 'Summer White House' on the 4th of July
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Estimate: $400+

Description

"I am vigor itself"—President Pierce writes from New Jersey's 'Summer White House' on the 4th of July

ALS as president, three pages on two adjoining black-bordered sheets, 6.5 x 8, July 4, 1855. Handwritten letter from Cape May, New Jersey, addressed to his private White House secretary Sidney Webster, in full: "Your letter of Sunday with Genl. Peaslee's note and papers came yesterday. We have had canon music and the reading of the declaration by Gov. Bigler today. Mrs. Pierce continues to gain strength and I think you will observe when we reach home which will be on Friday or Saturday probably the latter in the 11 o'clock train. I think every day here is important to Mrs. P. as for myself I am vigor itself. Dr. May came down yesterday and Mrs. P. was quite disturbed to learn from him that your throat continues to give you trouble. If you are not free from it when we return I shall insist upon your trying at once the air of Gilmanton. The article in the Union is pointed and characteristic. The writer evidently did not relent to discuss the subject he had in hand. Mrs. Pierce says give my love to Mr. Webster." In fine condition, with light brushing to a couple of words of text.

Franklin Pierce was one of several sitting U.S. presidents that left sweltering Washington, D.C. for the breezy seashore of Cape May, New Jersey, for summer vacation. The Pierces stayed at the Congress Hall Hotel for 10 days in 1855, which according to the New York Times, fell at a ‘critical moment’ for the nation, which had ‘lost its president.’ ‘President Pierce is at Cape May...For practical purposes he might as well be at Cape Horn.’ The president’s supporters backed his respite by exclaiming that Jane Pierce was suffering in Washington’s unbearable heat. ‘Has it come to this,’ asked the Washington Evening Star, ‘that a president of the United States cannot visit the seaside with a member of his family, to whom the fresh and invigorating ocean air is essential to recovery of health, without incurring the malignant mendacity of partisan newspapers?’ While opponents would always find presidential vacations ill-timed and extravagant, Congress Hall Hotel would become Jersey’s first ‘Summer White House,’ a seasonal sanctuary for presidents like James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, and Benjamin Harrison.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Science & Tech
  • Dates: #622 - Ended December 08, 2021





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