ROSCOE CONKLING - AUTOGRAPH 10/04/1886 CO-SIGNED BY: MAJOR GENERAL JOHN NEWTON - HFSID 33564
ROSCOE CONKLING and JOHN NEWTON. Signatures: "John Newton/Brig. Genl Chief of Engineers/U.S. Army" and "Roscoe Conkling/New York/Oct 4. 1886.", 6½x7¾ album page. Unidentified signer from New York at lower margin.
Sale Price $306.00
ROSCOE CONKLING and JOHN NEWTON. Signatures: "John Newton/Brig. Genl Chief of Engineers/U.S. Army" and "Roscoe Conkling/New York/Oct 4. 1886.", 6½x7¾ album page. Unidentified signer from New York at lower margin. Printed obituary of Newton affixed at upper left margin to left of signature. ROSCOE CONKLING (1829-1888) represented New York in the U.S. House (1859-1863, 1865-1867) and Senate (1867-1881). A powerful political boss in New York State and a leader of the "Stalwart" faction of the Republican Party, which opposed civil service and favored the old "spoils system" of appointment of party loyalists, Conkling resigned his Senate seat in protest over Republican President Garfield's failure to consult him on patronage appointments. He sought re-election to the seat vacated by his own resignation, but lost. Garfield's assassination (1881) put Chester Arthur, a protegé of Conkling's who had been placed on the Republican ticket to appease the Stalwarts, in the Presidency, but Arthur confounded expectations by continuing to push civil service reform. Arthur did nominate Conkling to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Senate confirmed him, but Conkling declined the office. JOHN NEWTON (1822-1895), an 1942 graduate of West Point, is best known for his engineering efforts before, during and after the Civil War. Shortly before the outbreak of the war, he constructed several forts before seeing action at Falling Waters, Virginia in June 1861. Made Brigadier General of Volunteers on September 23, 1861, Newton then engaged in fortifying the defenses of Washington, D.C., which included building Fort Lyon. He then commanded brigades at West Point, Virginia, Gaines' Mill, Glendale, South Mountain and Antietam and later led divisions at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. After the war, Newton became known for removing obstructions in the East River in New York (these are mentioned in the obituary). He blasted away Pot Rock, a huge stone that had caused numerous wrecks, as well as a three-acre reef at Hallet's Point into Hell Gate and the nine-acre Flood Rock (also called Middle Reef) in Hell Gate. After his retirement from the military in 1886, Newton became New York City's Commissioner of Public Works for two years and later served as President of the Panama Railroad Company. Ink notes (unknown hand) at upper margin of obituary). Lightly creased. Slightly shaded at right and lower margins. Irregular left edge from removal from bound book.
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