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PRESIDENT WILLIAM H. TAFT - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 12/09/1908 - HFSID 57254

WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT In his signed, typed letter Taft, elected but not yet inaugurated as President, acknowledges receipt of a report on the Panama Canal. Typed Letter signed: "Wm H Taft" as President-elect, 1 page, 5¼x8¼. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1908 December 9.

Sale Price $440.00

Reg. $550.00

Condition: lightly creased, otherwise fine condition
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WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT
In his signed, typed letter Taft, elected but not yet inaugurated as President, acknowledges receipt of a report on the Panama Canal.
Typed Letter signed: "Wm H Taft" as President-elect, 1 page, 5¼x8¼. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1908 December 9. On personal letterhead to Rufus A. Lane, Isthmian Canal Commission, Washington, D.C. In full: "I have your letter of the eighth of December, transmitting two copies of the report of the Isthmian Canal Commission for the fiscal year 1908, and beg to thank you for sending them. "Very 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. On November 3, 1908, Taft had defeated Democratic standard bearer William Jennings Bryan, picking up 5.16% of the popular vote and 321 of 483 electoral votes, so American practice makes it fair to speak of him as President-elect. Constitutionally, however, he was not yet elected until the Electors met in their individual states to cast their votes (December 14) and until Congress convened in joint session to count them and declare a winner (January 6). Construction of the Panama Canal, one of history's greatest engineering projects, was begun in 1904, after President Roosevelt pushed Congress to support a canal through Panama not Nicaragua, and then used US military force to prevent Columbia to prevent Panamanian rebels from declaring an independent Panama. The Isthmian Canal Commission, first established to recommend a route for a canal, was by the Taft administration administering construction of this strategically and economically vital path between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Panama Canal opened - ahead of schedule - in 1914. Mailing folds, not at signature. Lightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.

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