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The former Civil War General, Governor of Rhode Island and U.S.

Price: $650.00

Condition: Slightly creased, otherwise fine condition Add to watchlist:
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The former Civil War General, Governor of Rhode Island and U.S. Senator gives his permission for his correspondent to use his name "in any way that will serve your aims", but he goes on to state that he is not a "very great peace advocate" and gives his philosophy on the value of war.
ALS: "W Sprague", 2p, 4¾x7¾ ruled sheet, conjoined leaves. Naragansett Cir, 1888 June 27. To an unidentified Captain [name illegible] in Norwich, Connecticut. Begins: "Dear Sir". In full: "I recd your letter and say, you may use my name in any way that will serve your aims. I am not however a very great peace advocate. Peace made necessary the wars of the Roses, 30 years, the source of the Puritan: of the Cornwallian Era, and our own revolution, the Napoleonic Era and our great civil war contest. Remember that the schrine (sic) at which you worship declared, 'I came not to bring peace on Earth but a sword' 'War is an antidote to a poison, which under peace auspices, attacks the vials of a social system Wars have made, human progress - spiritual growth and development possible. Wars are with yrs. but so is death - yet death is the triumph of life. When such life is a progressive and developed one. Wars [illegible] and prevent years of spiritual development, but there is this compensation. The spirit that gets its lite on the field of battle is purer than the same spiritual age [illegible] its lite in any other way. Cordially". Docketed (unknown hand) on verso of integral leaf, which also has "Sprague" written in pencil. William Sprague IV (1830-1915), who was the Republican Governor of Rhode Island (1860-1863) when the American Civil War broke out, raised troops that participated in the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. Sprague, who at first believed that the war would last only 48 hours, was offered a commission as Brigadier General of Volunteers on August 9, 1861, but he declined the appointment. Sprague attended the Loyal War Governors' Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1862 to show his support for Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and Union war efforts. He resigned his governorship on March 3, 1863 to become a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island (1863-1875). Sprague, who had amassed a fortune with his family's weaving mills, was first married to Kate Chase (1863-1882), the daughter of Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase. After the couple's divorce, he later married Dora Inez Clavert of West Virginia and rekindled his interest in politics, becoming the Town Council President of Narragansett, Rhode Island in 1900. After a fire destroyed the couple's mansion there, they moved to Paris, where Sprague died. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Nicked at upper and lower edges at mid-vertical fold, shaded at folds on verso of integral leaf. Slightly creased and stained. Minor ink blots. Overall, fine condition.

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