Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    James Garfield Autograph Letter Signed "J.A. Garfield." Three pages of a bifolium, 7.75" x 10", Washington, D.C.; March 23, 1869. A letter to E.B. Taylor expressing annoyance over the appointment of Mrs. Eliza F. Evans as postmaster in Ravenna, Ohio. Garfield, then a Representative for Ohio, had favored appointing a Mr. A.K. Robinson, but his candidate passed over for Mrs. Evans, who had been proposed by Ulysses S. Grant's father, Jesse Root Grant. Although he did not outright oppose the appointment of Eliza Evans, Garfield was frustrated by the meddling by Jesse Grant. In part:

    "... When your letter came, I had already made up the record in the Ravenna P.O. case and had recommended the appointment of Capt. Robinson. Just after your letter reached me, the President sent Mrs. Evans name into the Senate and at the same time I received from Ravenna a strong protest against her confirmation. I sent to Sherman a statement of the case and he suspended action on the case till I should be able to see him. Yesterday I was able for the first time in six says to go to the Capitol. I saw Sherman and we both saw the President. He was much embarrassed when he found the people had voted in the case, and he has this morning written me a letter saying that he had determined upon the appointment of Mrs. Evans before he knew papers I had filed on the case. I have been really perplexed with the case...to have Jesse Grant put his finger in the pie in a way that is excessively annoying. If the President is going to allow his father to manage such matters he will get into hot water everywhere. Then again, I have been in doubt what to do, in regard to Mrs. Evans...Looking at the whole case I have concluded to recommend her confirmation, though it may give offence to many in Ravenna. I wish you would advise her not to take any of the contestants for the office for her deputy or clerks, for I think that would make her a partner to the quarrel. I do not know her, or I would write to her."

    President Grant's relationship with his father was strained at the time he assumed office. We have not been able to determine what, if any, influence the elder Grant held over the President. However, it is well recorded that Ulysses Grant suffered many missteps in the early days of his presidency. All of his cabinet appointments were made without senatorial approval; and he gave William T. Sherman, general-in-chief of the army, control over War bureau chiefs and then rescinded his decision. Garfield's letter may simply speak to Grant's political inexperience. At 46, Grant was the youngest president elected to date, with no political experience and only military successes to speak of.

    Condition: Usual mail folds, light soiling at folds and edges. Otherwise very good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 225

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $250,000 (minimum $19), plus 20% of any amount between $250,000 and $2,500,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,500,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 December 8 Winter Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - New York Luxury Accessories - New York.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 22 - 23 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential &  Political Americana, Part V - Dallas
    2019 June 22 - 23 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part V - Dallas
    REALIZED $745,988