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The Secretary of the Navy wrote this letter on black-edged stationery to Senator George F. Edmunds to turn down the purchase of a horse. Accompanied by original, signed mailing envelope, also on black-edged stationery.
Autograph letter signed: "Geo. Bancroft". Black ink notations on verso in unknown hand. 2 pages, 4¼x7, 1 sheet folded, front and verso, black-edged stationery. Dated "Dec. 1". In full: "Dear Senator: I have decided not to buy the horse or rather the mare. Reason which = she is too tall for me, so that I cannot mount & dismount with the ease necessary for security; and she is too powerful an animal for one who has no more strength than I have. So I think tomorrow to write to Mr Parsons to reclaim her. with sincerest thanks for your patience & accurate diagnosis". Postscripted: "Ever the kindest regards to your wife & daughter". According to the notations on verso, this letter was written in 1886. Lightly toned and creased. Ink transference, which touches signature and body of letter. Light chipping and scuffing along folds. Folded once horizontally and vertically and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition. Accompanied by: Autograph envelope signed "Geo Bancroft". 4½x3½ black-edged envelope. Addressed to "Mrs Senator Edmunds".  Lightly toned and soiled. Worn corners. Lightly scuffed top and left edges. Otherwise in fine condition. "Senator Edwards" is probably GEORGE F. EDMUNDS (1828-1919) represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate from April 3, 1866 until his resignation on Nov. 1, 1891. He served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate from 1883 to 1885 when, with no Vice President after Garfield's assassination, he was next in line to the Presidency. He was also a member of the Electoral Commission that decided the hotly contested election of 1876 - a squeaker with only one electoral vote between Republican victor Rutherford B. Hayes and Democratic Samuel J. Tilden, who won the popular vote. "Mrs Senator Edmunds" is probably his wife Susan Marsh Edmunds. Historian GEORGE BANCROFT (1800-1891) is best known for his ten-volume History of the United States (1834-1873). Bancroft wrote well, and was accurate with his facts, but had a partisan viewpoint. (He was a Jacksonian Democrat, although one opposed to slavery). As President James K. Polk's first Secretary of the Navy (1845-1846), Bancroft established the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, finding the funds for the institution in his budget before Congress had authorized its creation. As Acting Secretary of War (1846), he issued orders to General Zachary Taylor to advance into territory disputed with Mexico, a move which triggered the Mexican War. He later served as the U.S. Minister to Great Britain (1846-1849), Prussia (1867-1871) and Germany (1871-1874). Two Items.

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Born: October 3, 1800 in Worcester, Massachusetts
Died: January 17, 1891 in Washington, District of Columbia

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