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    James Buchanan Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages, 7.25" x 9", London, January 19, 1855, to his friend, Robert Tyler, the eldest son of former president John Tyler. He begins by affirming his friendship with Tyler, "You have always held a very high place in my regard quite as high as that of any other friend..," after which he makes a bold statement: "I can now say this without suspicion, because I am not nor shall I be a candidate for any office." Buchanan ran successfully for president the following year. Being in London as the minister to the United Kingdom, he corrects the mistake by Tyler "...in supposing that I hear much or often from Philadelphia. The reverse is the truth."

    He continues by praising Henry Alexander Wise, candidate for governor of Virginia, proclaiming his "...full faith in the election of our friend Wise; His energy, his ability, his eloquence & above all his righteous cause will bear him in triumph...His is sustaining the cause of religious freedom & constitutional right against a secret political society whose principles are at war with both." This so-called "political society" is the Know Nothing Party, a party built on anti-Catholic, xenophobic beliefs. "Still nothing can be so bad that there is not some good in it: the good in the Know Nothing organization is their apparent determination to put down the Slavery agitation. Whether sincere in this or not, it will have some good effect in the North. It will at least be an obstacle to the current of abolition. It astonishes me...that the Knownothings are making considerable progress in the South. I am informed that Southern Whigs are willing to unite with them for the purpose of breaking down the Democratic party."

    After discussing politics back home, he turns to international matters, particularly the Crimean War, "The war against Russia is emphatically a war of the people of this Country [the U.K.], & they are annoyed to perceive 'their cousins on the other side of the Atlantic,' sympathize with their enemy,'" and Ireland, "Ireland now seems to be...entirely loyal to the British Crown. Indeed, there does not now appear to be a particle of discontent there...What a wonderful change!"

    Folds are weak with some separation. The main vertical fold is separating on page one and two, nearly detaching, and is totally detached through pages three and four. Scattered areas of staining and soiling.

    W.C. Putnam Collection for the benefit of the Acquisition and Conservation Fund of the Putnam Museum.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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