GEORGE S. BOUTWELL
Late in the extremely close Presidential election of 1876, he writes
as US Senator to another Congressional Republican, Ellis H. Roberts, about a
joint speaking engagement.
Autograph Letter signed: "Geo. S. Boutwell", 1 page, 5x7¾
Boston, 1876 September 18. To Ellis H. Roberts, Utica, New York. In
full: "As for the speech at Rome, it will be short - say an hour, and not
written. Therefore we shall have time for both, or if not I can make mine
shorter. I am glad that you are to speak. Very truly". George Sewell
Boutwell (1818-1905) was elected as a Democrat to two 1-year terms as
Governor of Massachusetts (1851-1853). Joining the new Republican Party,
he was appointed by President Lincoln as the first Commissioner of Internal
Revenue. During three terms in the US House (1863-1869), he was
one of the special prosecutors appointed by that body for the Senate
impeachment trial of President Johnson. He was Secretary of the
Treasury under President Grant (1869-1873) until elected to finish Vice
President Henry Wilson's term in the US Senate (1873-1877). He became
President of the Anti-Imperialist League and served as a Presidential Elector
for Democrat William Jennings Bryan in 1900. He wrote several books, including a
well-respected treatise on the US Constitution. Timing suggests that Boutwell
and his correspondent, Utica newspaper editor and former Republican Congressman
Ellis H. Roberts, were scheduled to speak at a Presidential campaign rally in
Rome, New York. The Republicans lost New York State, and the popular vote,
but elected Rutherford B. Hayes over Samuel Tilden by an Electoral Vote majority
of 185-184, after a special commission, voting 5-4 on party lines, awarded all
20 disputed Electors to the Republican candidate. It's interesting that in
1876 Boutwell considered a stump speech of one hour to be a short one.
Multiple folds. Corners lightly worn. Light surface creases. Lightly toned.
Soiled on verso. Pencil notes (unknown hand) on verso. Otherwise, fine
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GEORGE S. BOUTWELL
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