PRESIDENT BENJAMIN HARRISON - MANUSCRIPT LETTER SIGNED 03/15/1898 - HFSID 17009
Sale Price $935.00
The former President sends thanks for remarks about his speech on the fairness of taxes, "The Obligations of Wealth".
Manuscript LS: "Benj Harrison", 1p, 5x8. Indianapolis, Ind., 1898 March 15. To Rev. William C. Rommel, Philadelphia, Pa. In full: "I have your letter of the 12th inst, and beg to thank you for your kind remarks about my Chicago speech." On February 22, 1898, Harrison made a speech before the Union League Club of Chicago entitled, "The Obligations of Wealth".The speech, in part: "We assemble on this anniversary of the birth of Washington...as to learn from him the lessons of conscience citizenship...In choosing for my theme, 'The Obligations of Wealth,' I am not wresting this anniversary from its legitimate use...we cannot forget Washington when we reflect upon our obligations to the state...Wealth is a comparative term...I want to speak of the obligations of the 'well-to-do' people, the forehanded, prosperous men and women of our communities, whether their estates are reckoned by thousands or by millions...One man sees that his neighbor is not making a conscientious tax return, and that if he returns his property honestly he will pay disproportionately. The result is that his conscience finds a salve in saying, 'Everybody does it.'...Mr. Lincoln's startling declaration that this country could not continue to exist half slave and half free may be paraphrased today by saying...this country cannot continue to exist half taxed and half free...What has already been accomplished in Chicago gives a gratifying hope...that will relieve our states from the scandals and fraud which have characterized the administration of the tax laws...the sense of injury is so strong that ways will be found, I fear, to exact more than is equal. To do justice is the best safeguard against injustice!!" Mounting strip affixed along top edge of verso shows through. Lightly shaded across bottom margin. Engraved address transferred at bottom margin from being folded. Overall, fine condition. Accompanied bya photocopy of the speech from Views of an Ex-President, pages 331-357, published in 1901, the year of his death. Stapled at upper left corner. Fine condition. Two items.
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