CHIEF JUSTICE MELVILLE W. FULLER - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/17/1907 - HFSID 283537
The Chief Justice signs an autograph letter to Grover Cleveland on the occasion of the former President's 70th birthday, reflecting on age and mortality. Cleveland has added a pencil notation, "answered."
Sale Price $1,020.00
MELVILLE FULLER The Chief Justice signs an autograph letter to Grover Cleveland on the occasion of the former President's 70th birthday, reflecting on age and mortality. Cleveland has added a pencil notation, "answered." Autograph Letter signed: "Melville W. Fuller" as Chief Justice. 2 pages (integral leaf), 5½x6¾. Washington, 1907 March 17. To "My Dear President Cleveland", in full: "You arrive tomorrow at the memorable age of 70! I never agreed with David about that age as a limit because he had not a good deal of time and like Solomon, while he might preach was not entitled to lay down rules without mentioning the exceptions. At all events, I am 74, & though perfectly willing to go, for I expect to meet him at the crossing & so be helped over, I am not persuaded that I ought to 'throw up the sponge' voluntarily as yet. I hope that Mrs. Cleveland and yourself are well & all the children. With love to you all, very sincerely & truly yours". Pencil notation in Cleveland's hand at upper left corner: "Answered". Appointed by President Cleveland, Fuller served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1888 until his death in 1910. Fuller's appointment was something of a surprise, even though he was a prominent judge, and it evoked some opposition from Senate Republicans. While their primary motive may have been to delay the appointment until after the Presidential election, they cited Fuller's record during the Civil War, when he had denounced Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as unconstitutional.) Fuller was confirmed, however, by a 41-20 vote on July 10, 1888. A staunch economic conservative, Fuller wrote Court Opinions narrowing the scope of anti-trust legislation and deeming any direct tax on income unconstitutional (Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust). He was part of the 8-1 "separate but equal" majority sanctioning racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Grover Cleveland himself had just over one more year to live when he received this letter; he died on June24, 1908. Lower right corner missing on page one, torn on page two. Pencil note (unknown hand) at upper left corner of page one. Horizontal fold crease. Otherwise, fine condition. Previously authenticated by PSA/DNA.
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