BRIGADIER GENERAL ORVILLE E. BABCOCK - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/28/1870 - HFSID 5449
Sale Price $396.00
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.
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