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    Description

    Theodore Roosevelt Typed Letter Signed as President. Three pages, 8" x 10.5", White House, Washington; July 11, 1905. Addressed to the Bishop C. C. McCabe of Evanston, Illinois regarding Roosevelt's commutation of the sentences of William L. Kendig and William Jacobs. It reads in part: "...I took these cases up on the recommendation of ex-Attorney General Knox, who wrote that in his opinion the sentences were altogether too severe, and that in view of the matters...he would, if he was still Attorney General, recommend the commutation...My dear Bishop, you say...'It makes me heart-sick to think that you would pardon these criminals.' Do you not think it would spare you such heart-sickness if you reserved judgement in these cases until you found out what the facts were? One of the difficulties encountered by every honest man in public life is the extreme readiness of very excellent men to pass judgement without taking the trouble to find out what the facts in any given case really are." Signed, "Theodore Roosevelt."

    Kendig and Jacobs were a pair of cigar makers from Lancaster who were responsible for counterfeiting revenue stamps. At the time of their arrest in 1899, the Secret Service discovered enough stamps in their warehouse to cover 440,000,000 cigars. They believed nearly $140,000 worth of bogus stamps were in circulation by that time. The men were originally given twelve-year sentences which Roosevelt commuted to five after advice from Knox and Secretary of the Treasury, Lyman J. Gage.

    Condition: Toned with smoothed folds and some light creasing. Pencil notation to recto of first page.


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    May, 2021
    19th Wednesday
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