RUSSELL A. ALGER.
Letter from Alger declining an invitation to a dinner party, dated
1888 while serving as Commander of the Michigan Department of the Grand Army of
Typed letter signed: "R.A. Alger", 1p, 8x10. Detroit,
Mich., 1888 January 30. To New York Republican leader James S.
Lehmaire. In full: "Will you please convey to the Commitee
(sic) of Arrangement of the Republican Club, my sincere thanks for the
invitation to be present at the second annual dinner on the 11th. Prox, and
regrets that I cannot accept the same, as I have arranged to leave for
California on the 13th." Russell A. Alger (1836-1907), an attorney and
Civil War hero, served as Secretary of War during McKinley's first term, from
March 5, 1897 until August 1, 1899, when he resigned over criticism of his
management of the War Department. Despite having been Governor of Michigan
(1885-1887), Alger lacked the decisiveness required during the Spanish-American
War. McKinley made his own strategic decisions without consulting Alger, and
"Algerism" became a synonym for incompetence. Despite his failure in
McKinley's Cabinet, Alger went on to publish a book, The Spanish American
War (1901) and served in the U.S. Senate (1902-1907). Multiple folds.
Light surface creases. Corners slightly worn and creased. Edges rippled. Lightly
toned, esp. on top and bottom margin. Binding holes in left margin. Slightly
soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.
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RUSSELL A. ALGER
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