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    Description

    Edwin M. Stanton Letter Signed as secretary of war. One page, 7.75" x 9.75", "Washington City", May 26, 1868, on departmental letterhead to Brevet Major General E. D. Townsend. "You will take charge of the War Department and the books, papers, archives and public property belonging to the same, subject to the disposal and directions of the President." The letter bears two autograph endorsements signed by Townsend, each signed "E D Townsend /Asst. Adjt. Genl." One notes receipt of this order at 2:45 P.M. on the 26th of May; the other, dated 27 May, adumbrates: "Having received, at about 3:15 P.M. yesterday, a letter to deliver to the President, which I suppose to be the one . . . informing him that Mr. Stanton had retired from the War Department, and turned the care of it over to me, I delivered it in person. The President asked me when the charge . . . was turned over to me. I replied at about a quarter to three . . . I asked him if he had any orders to give me. He replied 'none.' I consider this as confirming me in charge of the Department until he orders me to give it up." This historic letter is a piece from the background of President Andrew Johnson's impeachment. The Radical Republican Senate, displeased with Johnson's moderate views on reconstruction, bedeviled him on many issues -- including his replacement of Stanton with Ulysses S. Grant -- and ultimately tried and failed, by one vote, to remove the president from office. The letter is evenly toned with folds and affixed to an angled-cut mat (overall size 8.5" x 10.5"). Fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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