Description

    Joseph Holt Letter Signed "J. Holt.", about one-half page, 5" x 8", Washington, 17 May 1873, informing John Neafie "that I was appointed Secretary of War in Dec. 1860 & Judge Advocate General 3d September 1862." Accompanied by a carte de visite photo of Holt, one full figure, seated, on unmarked mount. Holt once practiced law in Lincoln's ancestral home of Elizabethtown, Kentucky; was President Buchanan's commissioner of patents, postmaster general, and briefly secretary of war; and a fierce anti-secessionist. Lincoln made him Judge Advocate General in 1862, and as such Holt proposed that Booth's co-conspirators be given a military trial and led the prosecution. It is an intriguing if unlikely possibility that the addressee was John A.J. Neafie, a tragedian under whom John Wilkes Booth had appeared in minor roles. In 1861 they engaged in a fierce, performance-for-performance contest (each at a different Cincinnati theatre) that Neafie won on press notices but lost to Booth in terms of attendance and public appeal. Bold text; fine.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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