LYMAN J. GAGE - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 04/02/1897 - HFSID 291716
LYMAN J. GAGE As newly appointed Treasury Secretary representing a change of governing parties, he orders a performance review of Special Officers on the Suspension Bridge (at Niagara Falls). Typed Letter signed: "L. J. Gage" as Secretary of the Treasury, 1 page. 8x10.
Sale Price $288.00
LYMAN J. GAGE
As newly appointed Treasury Secretary representing a change of governing parties, he orders a performance review of Special Officers on the Suspension Bridge (at Niagara Falls).
Typed Letter signed: "L. J. Gage" as Secretary of the Treasury, 1 page. 8x10. Treasury Department, Washington, D.C., 1897 April 2. On official letterhead to L. G. Martin, Special Agent, Suspension Bridge, N. Y. In full: "You are hereby directed to submit a report as to the character and efficiency of the Special Officers in your Special Agency District named in the enclosed list and who act in connection with your Office or under the direction of Collectors. A full and frank expression of your views is requested. As this information is desired for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of the force of Special Officers, your report, which should be as brief as the facts will allow, should be specific and comprehensive. It is desired also that you state whether or not, in any instances, the Officers are paid salaries in excess of or incommensurate with the value of the services rendered by them. An immediate report is desired. Respectfully yours". Lyman Judson Gage (1836-1927) rose from clerk to President of the First National Bank of Chicago. As board president, he was instrumental in making the World Columbian Exposition of 1890 a success. Although he had previously supported Democrat Grover Cleveland, he campaigned vigorously for Republican William McKinley in the Presidential election of 1896, motivated by his support for the gold standard. Becoming Secretary of the Treasury under McKinley and then Theodore Roosevelt, he played a key role in passage of the Gold Standard Act of 1900. After leaving government he headed the New York-based U.S. Trust Company, and then retired to pursue his other interests: spiritualism and simplified spelling of English. The Suspension Bridge under discussion was certainly the bridge over Niagara Falls, opened in 1855. An engineering marvel in its time, designed by J. A. Roebling, the bridge was replaced in 1897 by a new bridge of the improved, arch bridge type. The Republican administration Of William McKinley, with Gage as Treasury Secretary, had just replaced the Democratic Cabinet of Grover Cleveland less than a month before this letter was written, and new administrations have always looked for opportunities to "clean house," replacing inferior (or politically suspect) officers with those of their own choosing. The tone of this letter, businesslike but bordering on brusque, may have been a warning to Special Agent Martin that his own position was under review as well. Multiple mailing folds. Lightly creased. Minor notches at left and right edges. Corners worn. Otherwise, fine condition.
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