Description1860 Autograph Album with Near 300 Signatures, Including Those of President James Buchanan, His Cabinet Members, and Most Senators and Representatives of the 36th U.S. Congress. This remarkable collection consisting of over eighty pages of political autographs was obtained on the eve of the Civil War by Senator John P. Hale of New Hampshire. Hale served as senator from 1847-1853 and 1855-1865. The cover of the leather-bound album reads in gilt-embossed lettering "Autographs." Blind-embossed below is "Mrs. T. P. Cressey." The binding is tight and in very good condition, though with some wear to the upper and lower parts of the spine. Minor staining and wear to the covers. All pages are still bound. Only minor foxing on the leaves.
Written in period ink on the first free endpaper, "When Hon. John P. Hale of Dover, N.H. was senator he carried this book to Washington and obtained these signatures and presented the book to Mrs. Thaddeus P. Cressey who for many years was a next-door neighbor."
The first four pages contain the signatures of President James Buchanan (who has included the date of March 28, 1860, with his name), Vice President John C. Breckinridge, and Cabinet members Lewis Cass, Isaac Toucey, John B. Floyd, Howell Cobb, Jacob Thompson, Joseph Holt, and Jeremiah Black. The next sixteen pages contain the signatures of all but five senators in the 36th U.S. Congress. The signatures are organized by each of the thirty-three states of the still-intact Union. The remaining pages contain the signatures of numerous congressmen from the 36th U.S. Congress. Over fifty of the signatories became Confederates, participating either as officers or politicians, including the following: John B. Floyd (became Confederate brigadier general); Howell Cobb (became Confederate major general and president of the Provisional Confederate States Congress); Alfred Iverson (became Confederate general commanding at Gettysburg); Judah P. Benjamin (became Confederate Secretary of State); Thomas Bragg (became Confederate Attorney General); T. L. Clingman (became a Confederate brigadier general); James Chestnut (husband of Mary Boykin Chesnut and future Confederate brigadier general); Louis T. Wigfall (became a Confederate brigadier general); Robert M. T. Hunter (became the Confederate Secretary of State); Roger A. Pryor (became a Confederate brigadier general); et al. Among the numerous remaining signatures is Andrew Johnson. A later hand has written the names in pencil in longhand near most signatures.
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