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    After receiving his retroactive salary increase, denounced as a "salary grab" by the outraged public, Congressman Garfield quietly deposits the money in his House bank account.

    James A. Garfield Autograph Letter Signed "J. A. Garfield," one page, 5" x 8". Washington, March 23, 1873. To Nehemiah G. Ordway, Esq., Sergeant-at-Arms, House of Representatives. In full, "In answer to yours of yesterday, I have signed, and enclose herewith, Draft for Four Thousand, Five Hundred & Forty Eight Dollars ($4548) amount of Extra back pay for the 42nd Congress, subject to my order - I have made the Draft payable to you to Enable you to carry out my order to cover the amount into the General Treasury. I desire that this shall be done quietly & that the fact shall not be allowed to go to the newspapers." On the last day of the 42nd Congress, March 3, 1873, in addition to increasing the salaries of the President, Vice President, cabinet members, assistant secretaries, Supreme Court justices, and the Speaker as of March 4, 1873, Congress voted that "Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in Congress, including Senators, Representatives, and Delegates in the Forty-second Congress, shall receive $7,500 per annum each," an annual raise of $2,500. Since the 42nd Congress had convened on March 4, 1871, each member would be entitled to back pay of $5,000. On March 1st, Congressman Garfield had introduced a motion to accept a Senate amendment stipulating a smaller increase to $6,500. It passed the House, but a House-Senate conference committee reinstituted the original $2,500 raise. Republican and Democratic newspaper editorials and public outcry denounced what was called a "salary grab." On March 15, 1873, Ohio's Defiance Democrat wrote, "This is a bold, defiant, flagrant robbery, particularly that portion of the law that is retroactive." Garfield represented Ohio's 19th Congressional District. In three of his district's five counties including Ashtabula, Republican conventions met and passed resolutions of censure, calling for Garfield's resignat

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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