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ELIHU ROOT - AUTOGRAPH NOTE SIGNED CIRCA 1883 - HFSID 53638

The future Secretary of War and of State wrote this note on the back of a notice inviting Republicans to meet candidates in an upcoming primary election. One of the candidates is Root's father-in-law.

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ELIHU ROOTThe future Secretary of War and of State wrote this note on the back of a notice inviting Republicans to meet candidates in an upcoming primary election. One of the candidates is Root's father-in-law. Autograph Note signed: "E R" in ink on verso of a duplicated letter with facsimile signatures, 1p, 11x8½. 21st Assembly District. December 14, 1883. Root's note, in full: "Will you bring the Doctor with you. I haven't his address and can't find the card left the other day." The circular letter on verso, containing facsimile signatures of the 5 candidates, is not handwritten. It appears to be stencil duplicated. The letter addressed to "the Republicans of this District" appears to be stencil duplicated, a process which became known as mimeographing after the A.B. Dick Company of Chicago licensed (1887) Thomas Edison's 1876 and 1880 patents for "Autographic Printing." Mimeo-style printing was a boon to political campaigns, since it was much cheaper than printing, requiring no typesetting by a skilled tradesman. This method of duplication remained popular until supplanted by xerography in the second half of the 20th century. Root's Autograph Note, in full: "It is time for the Republicans of this District to consider what representatives in the District and County Committees should be voted for at the Primary Election. For the purpose of starting the discussion and consideration of this subject, you are requested to meet a few of the gentlemen whose names are enrolled, on Monday, December 17th, at 8 o'clock P.M. at 25 East 55th Street." " The first name on the duplicated letter is that of Salem Hamilton Wales, who was the managing editor of the Scientific American and the father of Clara Frances Wales, whom Root married in 1878 (the couple had three children). Elihu Root (1845-1937) first gained notoriety as a top-notch lawyer. Notable clients include William “Boss” Tweed (junior counsel), Andrew Carnegie, eventual President Chester A. Arthur, and Jay Gould. He was named a United States Attorney by former client President Chester A. Arthur and later served as the Secretary of War for President William McKinley and President Theodore Roosevelt from 1899-1904. As Secretary of War, he modernized the armed forces of the United States, particularly the National Guard. Roosevelt appointed him to be Secretary of State following John Hay's death in 1905; he served in that position until 1909. Root was elected to represent New York in the United States Senate for one term, from 1909-1915. As recognition for his arbitration and collaboration skills between multiple international actors, Root was awarded the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize. In 1917, the elderly statesman was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to travel to revolutionary Russia to engage in cooperation talks with the new government. He promoted international arbitration treaties and played an influential role at the Washington Naval Conference (1921-1922). Today, his home in Clinton, New York, stands as a National Historic Landmark. Duplicated letter has separated at mid-horizontal fold, which has file holes and paper tears. A 5½-inch separation at the right vertical fold has been repaired with tape at the lower margin on the verso, which bears Root's note. A 1¾-inch separation touches 1 word of Root's writing, which is otherwise intact and legible. Chipped at upper portion of manuscript letter at blank edge. Lightly stained at right margin of upper portion.

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