PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD - PARTIAL CHECK SIGNED - HFSID 284449
Sale Price $5,737.50
JAMES A. GARFIELD
Garfield, as President, signed the day before his 1881 assassination
Right portion of a blank check signed: "J.A. Garfield", 4½x2¾. Washington, D.C., 188_.Riggs & Co. check most probably signed as President. Left edge ragged. Horizontal fold crease above signature. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by: a handwritten note of provenance by S. W. Cowles, which reads, "This check was signed by Genl. Garfield at the White House in Washington, D.C. July 1st/81, the day before his assassination. It was present [sic] to me by Mrs. Lucretia R. Garfield at Mentor, Ohio, Oct. 1881." Lightly toned and soiled. Otherwise, fine condition. The fact that this check is neither filled out nor dated, coupled with the fact that we have had completed checks of the same type filled out by another and signed by Garfield, indicates that President Garfield signed blank checks that were later to be filled out. This check was probably torn in half after he died to protect it from being used by an unauthorized party or, more likely, to be given by Mrs. Garfield to admirers of her late husband requesting his autograph. Garfield (1831-1881) rose to the rank of Major General in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, before resigning his commission to take a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives (1863-1880). A political moderate, Garfield was the compromise choice of a deadlocked Republican Convention in 1880, nominated on the 36th ballot and elected President by a narrow margin. Garfield's assassination by a disappointed office seeker helped advance the cause of civil service reform which he had advocated. The check portion and letter are matted along with an engraved portrait of Garfield, to an overall size of 14½x12.
Not matted in Gallery of History style.
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