PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 12/13/1880 - HFSID 252457
JAMES A. GARFIELD. ALS: "J.A. Garfield" as President-elect, 1¼p, 8x10¼, front and verso. Mentor, Ohio, 1880 December 13. To New York attorney E.W. Stoughton. Headed: "Personal". In full: "Yours of the 10th inst is at hand.
Sale Price $1,530.00
JAMES A. GARFIELD. ALS: "J.A. Garfield" as President-elect, 1¼p, 8x10¼, front and verso. Mentor, Ohio, 1880 December 13. To New York attorney E.W. Stoughton. Headed: "Personal". In full: "Yours of the 10th inst is at hand. I regret to say that I have not yet found Hewitts (sic) letter informing me that he had sent the calf, nor his subsequent letter answering my inquiry as to pedigree. I have sent to Washington to have my file there examined. If by any mischance the letters are not found you can with entire safety ask him whether he did or did not represent the calf to be of excellent blood. His knowledge that he did so and his fear that the letter may be produced will doubtless deter him from denying it." Six weeks earlier, Congressman GARFIELD, already elected U.S. Senator for the term beginning March 4, 1881 by the Ohio state legislature, defeated Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock in a close presidential election. If New York had gone Democratic as it did in 1876, Hancock would have defeated Garfield 191-178 electoral votes. Support from influential New Yorkers like STOUGHTON, U.S. Minister to Russia (1877-1879) and one of Hayes' defenders before the Electoral Commission of 1877, helped Garfield win New York. He moved into the White House 11 weeks after writing this letter and invited his mother to live there, the first President's mother to reside in the White House. It is not clear why the President-elect purchased a calf, although he had worked on his family's 30-acre farm and neighboring farms to help support his widowed mother from the age of ten. His father had died when Garfield was only 18 months old. HEWITT was most likely Congressman Abram S. Hewitt, who had been Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1876 and managed New York Governor Samuel Tilden's unsuccessful race for the presidency. In 1880, Hewitt retaliated by joining with others in founding a rival party faction known as the County Democracy. Hewitt was reelected to Congress in 1880, 1882 and 1884. Vertical fold touches the "A." in signature. Creased at right edge, with 1¼-inch separation at mid-horizontal fold affecting 2 words. Lower right blank corner missing. Lightly stained at folds on verso, not touching signature. Overall, fine condition.