Description

    Robert C. Winthrop Autograph Letter Signed "Rob. C. Winthrop". Two pages, 8.25" x 10", Boston, October 9, 1849 to J. P. Boyd concerning an imposter claiming to be the brother of Winthrop, Speaker of the House: "...I have no brother by the name of John C. Winthrop, nor have I any brother [illeg.] than myself; nor have I any brother who is, at this moment, or who has been, for many months past, out of the limits of Massachusetts. The person who you describe must be an imposter & ought to be exposed forthwith. I most deeply regret that he should have made such unworthy use of my name, & trust sincerely that his character will have been discovered in season to prevent his doing serious mischief in any quarter. I rec'd a Telegraphic Despatch from Mr. [Henry] Clay more than a week ago, to which I replied, through the same marvelous [sic] agency; -- If the wires were not false to their trust, Mr. Clay must have learned the imposition which had been practiced upon him, almost as soon as your letter was dated. - Since then, I have rec'd a letter from Mr. Young of Cincinnati, on the same subject, to which I returned an answer without delay. Might it not be well to stop the career of this person, by putting a word of caution into one of your Papers? The very words with which your letter commences would be enough. 'A young gentleman, calling himself J. C. Winthrop, & claiming to be a brother of Speaker Winthrop, a member of the Suffolk Bar, & a former Student in the office of Hon Rufus Choate, has been enjoying the hospitalities of our Citizens for some days. It is now ascertained that he is an imposter, & the public are cautioned against him.' Anything of this sort, would answer the purpose, if there be danger of his continuing his fraudulent course." A superb letter concerning a case of 'identity theft' as well as a good early reference to the use of a telegraph. Note Winthrop's wonderment and uncertainty toward the new technology that had only come into regular use in 1846.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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