ORVILLE E. BABCOCK
Grant's chief of staff, involved in many of the scandals of that
Presidency and indicted in two of them, requests a $110 check from Jay Cooke
& Co., whose bankruptcy would later trigger the Panic of 1873.
Autograph letter signed "OE. B abcock". Pencil notations on
verso and black ink notations inside letter, both in unknown hand. 1 page, 5x8,
on stationery of the Executive Mansion in Washington, D. C., 1 sheet
folded. With a 2¼x¾ news clipping about Babcock affixed inside letter. Jan.
28, 1870. Addressed to Jay Cook [sic] & Co., Washington, D. C. In
full: "Gentlemen Will you please send me a check on N.Y. for $110.00
payable to Ella Wilson, or order, and greatly oblige Yours Truly".
Orville E. Babcock (1835-1884) was a capable engineer and
Union brigadier general, Aide-de-Camp to General Ulysses S. Grant during the
American Civil War. He delivered Grant's surrender summons to Lee and
escorted the Confederate General to his meeting with Grant at Appomattox
Courthouse, an event that he witnessed. After the war, Babcock served
Grant as private secretary, the equivalent of a modern chief of staff,
before becoming Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds for the City of
Washington. Babcock seems to have had at least a peripheral involvement in
most of the scandal's which plagued the Grant administration, and was indicted
in two of them: the Whiskey Ring scandal, involving falsified records of tax
receipts from liquor sales; and the Safe Burglary Conspiracy, an attempt
to frame an uninvolved private citizen. Grant's testimony, emphasizing
Babcock's integrity, helped secure his acquittal. Jay Cooke (1821-1905), who
became wealthy helping to finance the Union War effort, was a major financial
backer of the Transcontinental Railroad. His bankruptcy triggered the Panic of
1873. Lightly soiled. Folds and creases through signature. Separation along
spine of letter at top edge. Otherwise in fine condition.
For more documents by these signers click the names below:
BRIGADIER GENERAL ORVILLE E. BABCOCK
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