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    Description

    William H. Taft Typed Letter Signed "Wm H Taft" with Handwritten Postscript as President, Plus Two Photographs. One page, 7" x 9", December 24, 1910, on White House stationery, to A. Stewart requesting research to see what effect economic downturns have had on past presidential elections. In part: "I do not think you quite caught what I was anxious to have you look up. I would like to know what would have been the electoral vote in 1890 if that had been a presidential election, and how it would have compared with 1892. Then, I should like to know how 1910 in point of the electoral vote, assuming that to have been a presidential election, compares with 1890, assuming that to have been a presidential election." Following the typed text, President Taft attempts to clarify what he is asking by adding, "In other words, see whether the slump in 1892 was worse than that in 1890-or otherwise and how much."

    In the November 1910 midterm elections, six weeks before this letter was sent, the Republicans lost fifty-seven congressional seats. Taft, himself a Republican, was worried about his chances at reelection in the upcoming 1912 presidential election so he asked Mr. Stewart of New York in this letter to research the effects of the 1890 economic slump on the failed reelection attempt of Republican Benjamin Harrison. Taft, like Harrison, was not reelected, though he was later appointed by Warren Harding to be Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the position that he truly desired.

    The letter is accompanied by three typed pages of notes related to Stewart's research project and an unsigned b/w photograph of Taft, 7" x 10", with a Harris & Ewing copyright stamp on verso. Also included is a 9.75" x 6.5" b/w photograph mounted on a 12" x 9" paperboard, showing a Taft reelection billboard in Columbus, Ohio, exhorting citizens to "Stand by Taft as you stood by McKinley and for the same reason that prosperity may follow." All items are very good to fine.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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