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    Description

    Warren G. Harding Typed Letter Signed as President with Appointment Archive. Two pages including integral blank, 7" x 9" on White House letterhead, Washington, D.C., February 4, 1922. In 1921, U.S. senator Howard Sutherland began a letter-writing campaign to have West Virginia attorney Richard Randolph McMahon appointed Solicitor of the Treasury. The appointment was highly charged due to political affiliation - McMahon had changed parties from Democratic to Republican - and Republican Senator Sutherland had a long struggle convincing President Harding to accept and approve McMahon's nomination.

    The archive consists of 16 letters, most of them yellow carbon copies, from Senator Sutherland's files, and culminates with a Typed Letter Signed by President Harding. The letters span the dates from August 1, 1921, through February 4, 1922. Three of the carbon copies are directed to President Harding, three are directed to McMahon, and two are from McMahon. The others are addressed to Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, U.S. Senator David Elkins, West Virginia Governor George Atkinson, and others. There is also a letter of complaint from one of Sutherland's constituents, and a carbon copy of Sutherland's response.

    After several attempts to engage the president on this matter, Sutherland finally received a response from Harding. It reads, in part: "I am trying to work this situation out. I have had so much of complaint and so many expressions of doubt and suspicion concerning the particular department in mind that I am going to be very sure of my choice before I send any nomination to the Senate. This particular appointment is quite above and beyond geographical or personal preferences of any kind." Letter bears a hole punch and two pin holes at upper left, else very fine. A great study in partisan political appointments!


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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