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Soon to be fired by President McKinley for mismanagement of the Spanish-American War, Secretary of War Alger authorizes discharge of a New York volunteer corporal.
Typed Letter signed: "R. A. Alger" as Secretary of War, 1 page. 5x7¾. War Department, Washington, 1898 October 12. On official letterhead to Ellis H. Roberts, Treasurer of the United States, Washington. In full: "In accordance with your indorsement on of October 11th on letter addressed to you by James S. Lehmaier, of New York City, I have this day ordered the discharge of Thomas O'Brien, Corporal, 201st New York Volunteer Infantry. Very truly yours". Russell Alexander Alger (1836-1907) served as Secretary of War from March 5, 1897 until August 1, 1899, during McKinley's first term. 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 making decisions independent of his War Secretary, and "Algerism" became a synonym for incompetence. Alger defended his record by writing The Spanish American War (1901). He served in the U.S. Senate (1902-1907). Filing holes at left. Mailing fold through center. Lightly creased and toned. Corners worn, Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: February 27, 1836 in Medina County, Ohio
Died: January 24, 1907 in Washington, District of Columbia

Film Credits
1898 President McKinley's Inspection of Camp Wikoff (in person), 1898 General Wheeler and Secretary of War Alger at Camp Wikoff (in person)

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