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Letter from Alger declining an invitation to a dinner party, dated 1888 while serving as Commander of the Michigan Department of the Grand Army of the Republic
Typed letter signed: "R.A. Alger", 1p, 8x10. Detroit, Mich., 1888 January 30. To New York Republican leader James S. Lehmaire. In full: "Will you please convey to the Commitee (sic) of Arrangement of the Republican Club, my sincere thanks for the invitation to be present at the second annual dinner on the 11th. Prox, and regrets that I cannot accept the same, as I have arranged to leave for California on the 13th." Russell A. Alger (1836-1907), an attorney and Civil War hero, served as Secretary of War during McKinley's first term, from March 5, 1897 until August 1, 1899, when he resigned over criticism of his management of the War Department. Despite having been Governor of Michigan (1885-1887), Alger lacked the decisiveness required during the Spanish-American War. McKinley made his own strategic decisions without consulting Alger, and "Algerism" became a synonym for incompetence. Despite his failure in McKinley's Cabinet, Alger went on to publish a book, The Spanish American War (1901) and served in the U.S. Senate (1902-1907). Multiple folds. Light surface creases. Corners slightly worn and creased. Edges rippled. Lightly toned, esp. on top and bottom margin. Binding holes in left margin. Slightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: February 27, 1836 in Medina County, Ohio
Died: January 24, 1907 in Washington, District of Columbia

Film Credits
1898 President McKinley's Inspection of Camp Wikoff (in person), 1898 General Wheeler and Secretary of War Alger at Camp Wikoff (in person)

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