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Nathaniel P. Banks signed this manuscript letter to a friend in 1870 to say that "I was glad to get your letter assuring me, that you were still in the land of the living."
Manuscript letter signed "N. P Banks". Pencil notations at bottom edge. 1 page, 5x8 ruled paper, 1 sheet folded, with embossing in top left corner. Washington, D. C., March 26, 1870. Addressed to Abraham Lansing, Esq. In full: "Dear Sir, I was glad to get your letter assuring me, that you were still in the land of the living. As Rip Van Winkle says, 'If I had not seen it I would not have believed it'. Seventy-seven years, with good health and sound mind, is an honorable record. I shall send your letter to Captain Stephen Hoyt, who is at Chicago; and will be glad to hear from you. It is impossible to get a copy of the Blue book, as they are not now published for distribution. I shall be glad to send you some other documents. Very truly yours,". 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 smeared but legible. Ink transference touches handwriting but not signature. Multiple mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition.

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

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