Lot #7074
Calvin Coolidge Autograph Letter Signed

The exasperated ex-president steps away from public service: "I have done all I can do. Others must now carry on the government. Just drop me."
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Estimate: $3500+

Description

The exasperated ex-president steps away from public service: "I have done all I can do. Others must now carry on the government. Just drop me."

ALS, one page, 8.25 x 11, personal letterhead, May 21, 1932. Handwritten letter responding to his former Secretary of Commerce, William F. Whiting, declining to become involved in a public matter. In full: "Your note & clipping received. The suggestion would not work. I hope you will not take any action anywhere that involves me. Perhaps you will talk with Mr. Charles D. Hilles of New York. It would be easy to make much trouble for a distracted country. I have done all I can do. Others must now carry on the government. Just drop me." In fine condition, with light edge toning and a couple of small stains. Accompanied by a handsome custom-made quarter-leather case.

Writing just seven months before his death, amidst the deepening Great Depression, Calvin Coolidge declines to take on a public role in an unspecified matter. Based on the content and date-the Republican National Convention was forthcoming in June-it seems likely that it is a response to the 'Draft Coolidge' movement, in which many prominent Republicans hoped to nominate him, rather than the sitting Herbert Hoover, for the presidency. Coolidge adamantly maintained that he was not interested in running again, and swore that he would publicly repudiate any effort to nominate him. Hoover would be re-nominated, only to lose in a landslide to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Provenance: Forbes Collection, Part I, Christie's New York, 27 March 2002; the listing suggested that Whiting may have asked Coolidge to speak out against the WWI 'Bonus Army' marchers that had descended on Washington, DC.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: U.S. Presidents
  • Dates: #630 - Ended February 17, 2022





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