Vice President Hamlin recommends "the removal of the portrait of John Tyler" from the rotundaHannibal Hamlin Autograph Note Signed as Vice President. Two pages, 8"x 10", n.p. [Washington DC], July 13, 1861. When the first shots of the Civil War were fired, former President John Tyler immediately sided with the Confederacy. Three months later, W.S. Wood of the Office of the Commissioner of Public Buildings wrote to Senate President Hamlin to say that he desires "the permission of the President of the Senate to remove from the Rotunda to the Storeroom of the Building the portrait of John Tyler which has been the subject of such anathema that I fear injury to it may result." The Vice President penned his response along the left margin of Mr. Wood's letter. It reads, in full: "I not only approve but recommend the removal of the portrait of John Tyler, and if there are any portraits of other rebels let them also be removed. H. Hamlin."
On the verso, an additional intriguing note by W.B. Chace, clerk to the Commissioner of Public Buildings: "On the 15th July 1861, I presented a copy of this letter to my friend C.S. Ogden of Phila., after the within named portrait had been removed from the Rotunda of the Capitol, and taken into a store room where it was suspended head downwards." John Tyler was a delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress, and was later elected a member of the House of Representatives of the Confederate Congress, but died before assuming office. For his Confederate sympathies, Tyler was much reviled in the north, as this letter proves. The original letter is beautifully penned. Hamlin's note and signature are boldly penned. Faintly toned with two small sections of fold strengthening on verso.
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