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    John Hay Declines to Attend the 1900 Reunion of Society of the Army of the Potomac. Typed Letter Signed, as Secretary of State, 1 page, 4.5" x 8", on the letterhead of the Department of State, Washington, April 9, 1900. To Colonel Horatio C. King. In very fine condition, with tiny penciled dealer's note at bottom, with an blank integral leaf tipped to a slightly larger cardboard page, making for a handsome presentation. Lincoln's young personal secretary went on to great things, becoming the Ambassador to Great Britain, and serving as Secretary of State to two presidents. Perhaps not surprisingly, this letter finds him too busy to attend a Civil War reunion. " I have received the kind invitation of the Society of the Army of the Potomac to attend their annual reunion to be held at Fredericksburg on the 25th and 26th of May, and very much regret that my engagements are so pressing and exacting that I will not be able to leave Washington at this time." The Society of the Army of the Potomac was founded in 1869 by General George McClellan and was, at the turn of the century, the largest Union veterans group in the country. Because its 1900 Annual Reunion was held in Fredericksburg -- the first time the Society met in the South - the meeting attracted national attention. President William McKinley had time to go -- but his Secretary of State, we read here, had too much work to do. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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