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    James Buchanan Letter Signed as secretary of state. One page, 7.75" x 10", "Washington City, August 20, 1845." The fifteenth president of the United States and the last to be born in the 18th century, James Buchanan is the only president from Pennsylvania, and the only president never to marry. Despite a long and honorable career of public service, Buchanan's inability to avert the Civil War has been assessed by historians as the worst single failure by any president of the United States.

    The letter offered here was signed during his tenure as U.S. secretary of state, a position he held immediately prior to becoming president. It is addressed to John H. Read of Philadelphia and reads in part: "Dear Sir: Your favor of 16th instant, covering a letter to Secretary Marcy, recommending Lieut. French for a post in the Quarter Master's Department, was duly received. I have this morning transmitted your letter to the Secretary of War, accompanied by a note of my own . . . to his favor." Large, bold signature. The letter is lightly age toned and somewhat brittle, with several small chips along the edges and one large chip (extant) at lower left corner. Near fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 320

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