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    Roger B. Taney Autograph Letter Signed "R. B. Taney" as the fifth chief justice of the United States. Two pages, 4.5" x 7", February 22, 1850, n.p., to Supreme Court Justice John McLean concerning the illness of both. In part: "I was in court for a short time today to deliver the opinions which I read in conference two weeks ago. But am not well enough to sit & hear arguments. I was truly sorry to find you were still suffering from your cold. Mr. Vinton tells me you talk of going home. I hope Mrs. McLean will not let you move until your physician says you may do so with safety. . . . I would have called to see you this morning when I was at the Capital & at the same time to pay my respects to Mrs. McLean; but my lungs are yet so irritated that I do not venture to walk out in the cold air-and went to the Capital & returned in a close[d] carriage."

    Roger Taney (1777-1864) served as chief justice from 1836-1864. He was widely criticized for his decision in the infamous Dred Scott case, holding that restricting the spread of slavery into the territories was unconstitutional. John McLean served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1830-1861. With usual folds; fine.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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