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PETER COOPER - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/16/1868 - HFSID 3857

Cooper handwrote, signed and dated this letter to Nahum Capen, Esq., former Postmater of Boston, in 1868. In it, he says that he hopes Schuyler Colfax will run with Ulysses S. Grant as vice-president and why Schuylerwould be better than Francis P. Blair, Jr. in that position.

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PETER COOPER
Cooper handwrote, signed and dated this letter to Nahum Capen, Esq., former Postmater of Boston, in 1868. In it, he says that he hopes Schuyler Colfax will run with Ulysses S. Grant as vice-president and why Schuylerwould be better than Francis P. Blair, Jr. in that position.
Political autograph letter signed: "Peter Cooper", 3p, 7½x9½ ruled paper, 2 sheets, front and verso. New York, 1868 September 16. Addressed to Nahum Capen, Esq. In full: "My dear Sir: I forgot in my last letter to insert the name of Schuyler Colfax with the name of Gen. Grant as the man of my choice to be elected to serve with him, as vice-president of the United States. I am compelled to believe that the election of Gen. Grant and Schuyler Colfax offers our only safe way to secure peace and avoid the dangers that now threaten all that we hold dear. I should be glad to learn that you agree with me in the opinion that their elec-tion will secure to our beloved country, peace and prosperity in the future, and avert the terrible dangers that must inevitably follow an attempt to carry out the policy recom-mended by Gen. Blair. His recommendation is, that the president shall declare all the previous congressional action null and void; and in the event that congress does not acquiesce, then, to disperse them by force of arms. If that course should be adopted, it would inevitably bring on one of the most terrible wars that ever disgraced a civilized community. If you should conclude to publish my letter in connection with anything you may think proper to say, please insert the name of Schuyler Colfax with the name of General Grant where I intended it should have been, and oblige, your friend". This letter's recipient, NAHUM CAPEN (1804-1886), was a Boston publisher and author who had served as Postmaster of Boston (1857-1861). At the May 20-21, 1868, Republican National Convention held in Chicago, General ULYSSES S. GRANT was nominated for President on the first ballot. Speaker of the House SCHUYLER COLFAX was nominated for Vice President. In July, at Tammany Hall in New York City, former New York Governor HORATIO SEYMOUR was nominated for President and former Missouri Congressman and Major General FRANCIS P. BLAIR, JR. received the nomination for Vice President. Blair opposed the Reconstruction measures passed by Congress, the "previous congressional action" referred to by Cooper in this letter. Before the Civil War, in the House, Congressman Blair had introduced a resolution to set up a committee to inquire into the expediency of acquiring territory in Central or South America to be colonized with free Blacks who were willing to settle there. On the House floor in 1862, he spoke against a resolution, recommended by President Lincoln, concerning the gradual abolition of slavery by the states. Blair warned that emancipation of the slaves would be a terrible mistake until arrangements were first made to resettle the Blacks abroad. He spoke of shipping them to areas south of the Rio Grande. It is easy to see why Cooper was worried if Grant-Colfax were defeated by Seymour-Blair. In the November 3, 1868 election, Grant defeated Seymour by 3.0 million to 2.7 million popular votes and 214-80 electoral votes. Seymour won the 33 votes of his home state of New York. Cooper (1791-1883) designed and built the first American locomotive, named Tom Thumb, in 1830; was the promoter and financial backer of Cyrus Field in the laying of the Atlantic cable; and founded Cooper Union in New York City (1859) "for the advancement of science and art". The school is still giving free courses in science, chemistry, electricity, engineering and art. In 1876, Cooper was the Greenback party nominee for President, receiving 81,737 votes out of 8.4 million votes cast. Lightly toned, soiled and creased. Torn at bottom edge, which touches handwriting, and on right edge of page 1. Adhesive residue on verso of both pages at top and bottom edges, which has stains paper. Pages have been neatly torn from a pad or notebook at top edge. Folded once horizontally and twice vertically. Torn along right edge of horizontal fold on right edge. Otherwise, fine condition.

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