LEARNED HAND - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/07/1956 - HFSID 259192
Sale Price $1,020.00
A frank letter of recommendation to a former judge.
ALS: "Learned Hand", 3p, 5¾x6¾. Windsor, Vt., 1956 September 7. To Mr. Williams. In full: "I am writing in support of the application of George W. Martin, Jr., for a place on your staff, which his father writes me that he has filed, and which he also says would or might be helped if some federal judge wrote that he knew him and approved of him. I have known his father for over fifty years; he is a close friend and one whose courage, wisdom and integrity cannot be easily surpassed (no doubt, my affections do bias me but that's what I think). I knew his grandfather from my early manhood and even before that; he was of the same. As for George himself, I have seen him grow up from boyhood; and, although I cannot say much about his legal attainments, as I have had no chance opportunity to measure them, I believe that I take no chances when I say that I would trust him with everything I have. If he is not a young man on whose honor and uprightness one can rely, I do not know anybody one who is. Incidentally, it will do no harm, I believe, that he has a very pleasant sense of humor, does not take himself too seriously, and gets along amicably with his own age. I should think you would find him most useful; and he is anxious, I understand, to get experience under you." Postscript at top of letterhead: "#(Good God, I forgot for the moment that you had been a judge!!!)" Penned on his personal stationery: "Judge Learned Hand's Chambers/United States Court House/New York". Learned Hand (1872-1961) received his law degree from Harvard in 1896. He was a Judge of the U.S. District Court for New York's Southern District (1909-1924) and of the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals (1924-1951). He never served on the Supreme Court but was often called the "tenth Justice of the Supreme Court", and was regarded as one of the finest jurists in American history. Hand delivered more than 2,000 opinions. He was noted especially as a defender of free speech and is regarded by many as the greatest judge never to be appointed to the Supreme Court. In a 1947 dissenting opinion, Judge Hand said: "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands." Folds, light vertical fold touches the "r" in Learned. Staple holes at left blank margin of first page. Pencil notes (unknown hand) at left margin of first page. Light ink show through. Overall, fine condition.
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