PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD - DOCUMENT UNSIGNED - HFSID 6100229
Sale Price $616.25
Partly printed draft of a court document terminating John Randolph Tucker's guardianship of Mary Garfield, daughter of the assassinated President, with handwritten additions citing the names of Mary Garfield Stanley Brown and her husband, Joseph Stanley Brown.
Document unsigned, 8x13, 2 pages, Alexandria County, Virginia, 1888. Partly printed draft of a Court order terminating John Randolph Tucker's guardianship of Mary Garfield, daughter of James Garfield of Ohio, upon her having attained her majority in January 1888. Tucker having been required to post $1,000 bond when assuming the guardianship in May 1885, that sum was now released to him at the successful conclusion of his duties. The document returns real property in Virginia, suggesting that the original guardianship was a limited one administering property in that state. The name "Mary Garfield, now Mary Garfield Stanley Brown" has been handwritten into the document six times. The name "Joseph Stanley Brown, husband" has been added twice by the same hand. Without further research, it cannot be ascertained whether the handwritten insertions were in the hand of Mary Garfield, of her husband Joseph Stanley Brown, or of a lawyer involved in the proceeding. The document is nevertheless of great historical interest. President James Garfield died on September 19, 1881, six months after his inauguration as US President and two months after he was mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet. Modern medicine could certainly have saved Garfield, who succumbed to infections resulting from un-sterile intrusions into the wound. Garfield was survived by his wife Lucretia (d. 1918), and by seven children, including MARY "MOLLY" GARFIELD (1867-1947).JOSEPH STANLEY-BROWN (1858-1941) was a geologist who had been part of John Wesley Powell's geologic survey of the Rocky Mountains. Powell recommended him to then Congressman James Garfield, who was drafting legislation to form the US Geologic Service. Brown became Garfield's permanent secretary, and his close personal friend. On June 14, 1888, Mary Garfield married Joseph Stanley Brown, hence the inclusion of his name in this draft document. Mary Garfield could not have had a more prestigious or powerful guardian of her interests in Virginia. JOHN RANDOLPH TUCKER (1823-1893), a state's rights Democrat and Virginia's Attorney General throughout the Civil War, served 6 terms in Congress (1875-1887), where he chaired successively the powerful House Ways and Means and Judiciary Committees and engaged Republican Garfield in spirited debate on sectional and other issues. Choosing not to seek re-election in 1886, he became professor and then Dean of Washington and Lee Law School, and became President of the Virginia Bar Association (1891-1892). Fold creases. Rust stains at upper left. Lightly folded at corners. Otherwise, fine condition.
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