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Nathaniel P. Banks wrote this letter from his lifelong home of Waltham, Massachusetts in 1889, at the beginning of his last term in Congress, about his appointments and to apologize for not being able to make it to Washington, D. C. that week.
Autograph letter Signed: "N. P. Banks". Pencil notations at bottom edge and black ink notations on verso in unknown hand. 1 page, 5¾x8¾. On verso of letterhead from Robert A. Southworth, Counselor at Law, Boston, Massachusetts. Waltham, Massachusetts, April 1, 1889. Addressed to Honorable George S. Beretwell. In full: "Dear Sir I had hoped to be in Washington this week, but fear I may not be able to leave home. Mr Berstrong has shown papers for an assistant appraisership, ready for presentation. I have advised him to send them on, and will be glad to aid him by such information in his behalf, as I can furnish all of which will be in high degree favorable if you think occasion require it you will I trust see that they are presented at once. We are all well, happy and comfortable in an [illegible] degree. The administrator is doing well - excellently well - in my opinion. I do not mind the freshness which characterizes some of the appointments: They are all good & will improve in public estimation daily. I am especially pleased with the Lincolns & Lorings share in this work. It indicates, outside of individual merits, unanimity cordial & general whichs is a great strength in every team & at all times. I hope all is right with you and yours. Always your friend,". Soldier and statesman Banks (1816-1894, born Nathaniel Prentiss Banks in Waltham, Massachusetts) was elected to Congress in 1852 as a Democrat, in 1854 as the American Party candidate and in 1856 as a Republican. He served from 1853 to Dec. 24, 1857 (Speaker of the House, 1855-1857), when he resigned to become Governor of Massachusetts (1858-1861). Although he advocated peace, Banks was one of the first to volunteer for the Union Army, and he was appointed Major General of Volunteers in 1861. Despite a lack of battlefield expertise, Banks often rallied outnumbered troops. For a short time in 1862, he was in charge of defenses for Washington, D. C., and he participated in campaigns at Vicksburg and New Orleans. Banks returned to Congress at war's end, serving as a Republican from 1865 to 1873, 1875 to 1879 and 1889 to 1891. He also served as a U.S. Marshal (1879-1888), having been appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. Lightly toned and creased. Signature is lightly spotted and has bled lightly, but is legible. Handwriting is lightly smeared in places but is legible. Show-through from notations on verso touches handwriting but not signature. Random ink stains. Toned. Folded four times vertically and five times horizontally and unfolded. Light tears along fold at top and bottom edge. Otherwise, in fine condition.

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Born: January 30, 1816 in Waltham, Massachusetts
Died: September 1, 1894 in Waltham, Massachusetts

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