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Garland handwrote, signed and dated this letter to the editor of New York City's Mail & Express in 1889, less than a month after he left the post of United States Attorney General.

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Garland handwrote, signed and dated this letter to the editor of New York City's Mail & Express in 1889, less than a month after he left the post of United States Attorney General. This letter is his opinion on the place of George Washington, whom Garland called "wise, patriotic, conservative and firm in war & in peace," in history.
Autograph letter signed "A H Garland". With pencil notations on first page and back of letter in unknown hand. 2 pages, 4¾x7¾, 1 sheet folded, front and verso. Washington, DC, April 2, 1889. Addressed to the editor of the Mail & Express, New York City. In full: "Dear Sir: You ask me 'to oblige you with an opinion, no matter how brief, on George Washington.- Probably there is less dispute about the position of Washington before the world, than about that of any other person who has figured in history. He is acknowledged by all, to have been wise, patriotic, conservative and firm in war & in peace - in camp and in council. The most [illegible], in the investigation of the history of civilization, places him or me of a very few indeed in modern times, who was eminent alike in war & in civil affairs - entitled to rank equally as a warrior & a civilian. The great leading feature of his make up was his well balanced mien - what we call common sense. [Illegible] never [illegible] him, and all that he said and all that he did was stamped with the impress of that best of all gifts. In the various discussions that are sometimes [illegible] in, as to who, in history, will live through all time, it has been put down of precious few, but in these specula-tions, I do not think I have heard [illegible] the name of Washing-ton written. On the contrary, it seems to be conceded he will not only live as long as history itself does, but his name & fame will grow brighter as the years pass by: - as the gifted George D Prentice wrote of him at his 'centennial birth day...' Cold time, that [illegible] the marble [illegible]/Makes green each laurel-leaf/That blooms upon the sainted brow/Of our immortal chief. Very truly yours,". Garland was Attorney General under President Grover Cleveland (1885-1889). He lost this position, and retired from politics for good, when Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison in the election of 1888. Garland (1832-1899, born in Covington, Tennessee), a member of both the Confederate House and Senate during the Civil War, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Arkansas for the term beginning March 4, 1867, but was not permitted to take his seat as Arkansas had not yet been readmitted to representation. After serving as Governor of Arkansas (1874-1876), he was again elected U.S. Senator from 1877 until 1885, when he resigned Attorney General.Lightly toned, stained and creased. Adhesive residue with light show-through on back of letter, which touches handwriting but not signature on second page. Folded once vertically and twice horizontally. Otherwise in fine condition.

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