PRESIDENT WILLIAM H. TAFT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 03/25/1909 - HFSID 5092
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT The newly inaugurated President signs a typed letter to the doctor whose bed rest cures inspired his patient to write the feminist classic, "The Yellow Wallpaper." Typed Letter signed: "Wm H Taft" as President, 1 page, 7x8¾. The White House, Washington, 1909 March 25.
Sale Price $765.00
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT
The newly inaugurated President signs a typed letter to the doctor whose bed rest cures inspired his patient to write the feminist classic, "The Yellow Wallpaper."
Typed Letter signed: "Wm H Taft" as President, 1 page, 7x8¾. The White House, Washington, 1909 March 25. On Presidential letterhead to Dr. Weir Mitchell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In full: "I have your letter of March 24th and thank you for writing it. I have heard from Mr. Pepper directly. I can well understand the complications which prevent his acceptance of the offer, although it would have gratified me very much could I have secured him. With many thanks for your assisting me, believe me, my dear Doctor, Sincerely yours". William Howard Taft (1857-1930) was Governor of the Philippines (1901-1904), Secretary of War (1904-1909), 27th of the United States (1909-1913) and Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court (1921-1930). His bruising convention battle with former ally and patron Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 split the Republican Party, allowing the election of Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Taft as President was caught in the middle between progressives and conservatives and constrained by a more limited view of Presidential powers than TR had possessed, but historians tend to view his term of office more positively than did most of his contemporaries. His skills as Chief Justice are widely recognized. "Mr. Pepper" was probably George Wharton Pepper, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania and a future Republican Senator from Pennsylvania (1922-1927). Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914) was a Philadelphia physician and the author of many books, from medical treatises to novels, short stories and verse. As a doctor, Mitchell was the foremost advocate of complete bed rest and isolation for persons, especially women, diagnosed with nervous disorders. Weir was the personal physician of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and prescribed this cure for her. The experience inspired Gilman to write "The Yellow Wallpaper" (1899), now considered a feminist classic, in which a woman confined by her husband to bedroom isolation descends from depression to psychosis. Rust from paperclip at upper left margin. Pencil note (unknown hand) at upper right. Mailing fold, not at signature. Otherwise, fine condition.
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