Lot #223
Andrew Johnson

Preparing to fight for his political life, Johnson goes after his bitter enemy: "Now is the time to dispose of this fellow"
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Estimate: $2000+


Preparing to fight for his political life, Johnson goes after his bitter enemy: "Now is the time to dispose of this fellow"

ALS, four pages both sides, 7.75 x 9.75, February 9, 1851. Letter to his close friend and confidant Sam Milligan, marked "Confidential," concerning his upcoming battle in the Congressional election, offering harsh words about his opponent Landon C. Haynes. In part: "There is nothing that Mr. Haynes and the clique he is connected with could do that would surprise me in the slightest degree for I consider them capable of condescending to any kind of means that would enable them to attain their end fair or foul…Now is the time to dispose of this fellow if it is done now in a proper manner he will be out of the way here after. Whether I succeed or not I desire the district to be rid of him…'Delenda est Carthago' he must be defeated…He is not entitled to the confidence of the people, the honor of the Station nor the immolaments of the office…I neither care for him or dread him in any way, mentally or physically—In a single contest I think I can beat him easily and am more than willing to try it in that way." In fine condition, with old tape along the edges, and across the center of the final page. Accompanied by a handsome custom-made quarter leather presentation folder.

In 1851, a large faction of Tennessee Democrats, displeased with Johnson's performance in Congress, convinced Landon Carter Haynes to run against him for his seat in the House of Representatives. This proved to be one of Johnson's toughest campaigns, and the two canvassed the district together, engaging in fierce debates in front of large crowds. Johnson ultimately prevailed, winning the election by just over 1,600 votes. This remarkable, boldly penned letter is unpublished and believed to be one of the longest handwritten letters that Johnson ever wrote.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #531 - Ended July 11, 2018

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