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PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD - AUTOGRAPH TELEGRAM SIGNED 12/14/1877 - HFSID 253873

JAMES A. GARFIELD. Autograph Telegram signed: "J.A. Garfield" in pencil, 1p, 8½x5½. House of Representatives U.S., 1877 December 14. To Hon. R.W. Thompson, Secretary of the Navy. In full: "The Ohio friends of Lt.

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JAMES A. GARFIELD. Autograph Telegram signed: "J.A. Garfield" in pencil, 1p, 8½x5½. House of Representatives U.S., 1877 December 14. To Hon. R.W. Thompson, Secretary of the Navy. In full: "The Ohio friends of Lt. Commander Miller will be gratified if you will call up the question of his promotion as soon as practicable." On a telegraph form headed: "DEPARTMENTAL TELEGRAPH LINES". The telegraph lines connected the House of Representatives with all the Executive Departments and the Government Printing Office. Ohio Congressman JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD shows his acuity by telegraphing this request to the Secretary of the Navy rather than sending a letter, demonstrating the urgency of his message. Garfield himself had served with distinction in the military. While attending Hiram College, he was elected Lieutenant Colonel of a company attached to the 42d Ohio Infantry Volunteers. Early in 1862, he was awarded a commission as Brigadier General for routing Confederate forces from eastern Kentucky, and went on to serve with distinction at the battles of Shiloh and Corinth. After becoming Chief of Staff to Major General William Rosecrans, he saved the Army of the Cumberland from disaster at Chickamauga by delivering an important dispatch after his horse was shot out from under him. Garfield, promoted to Major General for his gallantry, had been elected to Congress while on active duty. On May 24, 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse had demonstrated his new invention the telegraph to Members of Congress and distinguished guests. In the Old Supreme Court Room in the Senate Rotunda on the first floor of the Capitol building, Morse successfully sent the message: "What hath God wrought" to Baltimore, Maryland. Five days later, the first political use of the telegraph occurred when news of Polk's nomination for President was telegraphed from the convention in Baltimore to Washington. Barely 20 minutes after Polk's nomination, a telegram was sent from Washington to Baltimore: "The Democratic members of Congress to their Democratic brethren in convention assembled. Three cheers for James K. Polk." RICHARD W. THOMPSON served as Hayes' Secretary of the Navy from March 12, 1877-December 19, 1880. Nailhead-size hole at blank center area. Chipped edges, creased corners with lower right tip missing. Overall, fine condition.

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