Goldberg Coins and Collectibles



Sale 86

The Manuscripts, Collectibles & Space Auction


The William K. Steiner Collection - U.S. Statesmen
 
 
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 252
Bryan, William Jennings (1860-1925) Three-time Democratic presidential nominee (1896, 1900, 1908); Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson; prosecutor in the Scopes Trial. Typed letter signed ("W.J. Bryan") as editor of The Commoner, a weekly magazine Bryan founded in 1899, 2¼ pages, 11 x 8 in., Dec. 4, 1902. With holograph corrections. To Erving Winslow, Anti-Imperialist League, Boston, discussing the Democratic Party, President Cleveland's political positions, the Philippines and imperialism.

In part: "…I am very sorry that I cannot look upon President Cleveland's utterances as you do. I was in Congress when he was president….He was responsible for the demoralized condition of the party in 1896, and his administration has hung like a mill-stone about the neck of the party ever since….My platform of 1900 contained the very things that he now advocates, and yet his influence was thrown to the republican ticket. It is unadulterated hypocrisy….I note what you say in regard to the renewal of the fight on imperialism. I think it is all right to…keep the people posted on the details of the Philippine policy, but if we win the fight it must be on the principle of imperialism….voters cannot be aroused in regard to the details of things that effect [sic] people ten thousand miles away….I believe that it is necessary for the democrats to defend their position on all the questions, leaving to events to determine upon which issue the emphasis shall be laid. To run from any of these questions or to make peace with the enemy would be suicidal….We lost in the western states, but where people fight for a principle they can lose without demoralization, where they make compromises for the sole prupose [sic] of winning, then defeat is disasterous…."
Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,250.
Smythe, June 6, 1996, lot 328.

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Unsold
Lot 253
Burr, Aaron (1756-1836) American statesman; Vice President under Thomas Jefferson; mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804. Autograph letter signed ("A. Burr"), 1½ pages, Albany, Feb. 23, 1817. To Samuel C. Reid, advising him on the best way to secure an appointment in the incoming Monroe administration through political patronage. In part: "…It is said that there are to be some changes in the custom house department--vacancies are also perpetually occurring in other offices, some of which might be worthy of your notice. Gov. Tompkins is very well disposed toward you, but as he undertakes to serve everybody, the result will be that he will serve nobody - either apply, yourself, directly to Monroe or get some friend to do it, or both. You must improve the moment, now that your services are fresh in every one's recollection and your eulogies in every one's mouth….When you once get into a good fat office, you may be as modest as you please."

As commander of the privateer "General Armstrong" in the War of 1812, Reid successfully engaged a British expeditionary force in the port of Fayal in the Azores in September 1814. Ensuing delays postponed the British attack on New Orleans and aided Jackson's defense stragegies. Reid's efforts to capitalize on his fame were successful; he was appointed Sailing Master in the Navy. Four ships have been subsequently named USS Reid in his honor. Moderate toning; small marginal tears. Separate address leaf has manuscript postage and red cancellation.
Estimated Value $1,000 - 1,500.
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Realized
$2,640
Lot 254
Calhoun, John C (1782-1850) He served as a member of the House, as Secretary of War under Monroe, as Vice President under Jackson, and resigned to enter the U.S. Senate in 1832; he served as Secretary of State under Tyler, and again as U.S. Senator (1845-1850). He was a member of the "Great Triumvirate" which consisted of himself, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Calhoun was a staunch advocate of slavery and the southern cause in Senate debates. Autograph letter signed (J.C. Calhoun"), 2 pages, 10 x 8 in., Washington, Department of State, September 27, 1844; with an autograph letter signed ("J.C. Calhoun"), no place, no date, with integral leaf. Both letters are addressed to Secretary of the Navy J.Y. Mason. The first letter relates to an inquiry by "Ogden Hoffman, the Attorney of the United States for the Southern District of New York, and R.S. Coxe, Esquire of this City," authorizing them to "Make diligent inquiry in order to ascertain whether the two Mexican vessels now in the harbor of New York have taken in additional munitions of war or taken any other step which might bring them within the several acts of Congress passed to preserve the neutrality of the United States…" Overall wrinkling. The second letter, 1 page, 8 x 5 in., is dated May 1st, no year, and introduces "Mr. Walker, one of your officers, a purser in the Navy, who desires an introduction to you which I take pleasure in being the medium…".
Estimated Value $300 - 400.
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Realized
$225
Lot 255
Clay, Henry. Excellent-content autograph letter signed ("H. Clay") twice, once at the end of the letter and once as a free frank on the address leaf, as U.S. Senator from Kentucky, 1½ pages, Ashland, April 17, 1841. Letter is toned with a few scattered stains; lower horizontal fold is two-thirds separated and there is one vertical tear in lower portion. Clay's green wax seal is intact, with the "HC" clearly visible.

To the Reverend H.B. Bascom in Kentucky, regarding an official appointment Bascom had solicited for a Dr. Hendershott, discussing the death of President William Henry Harrison (ten days earlier, on April 4), and the "Regency" of John Tyler. After explaining his delay in writing because of an overwhelming amount of business and correspondence, Clay writes: "…After much consideration, I felt myself constrained to adopt the rule of non-interference in official appointments. Subsequent experience and reflection have satisfied me of its being correct. I wish I had now time to communicate to you all the considerations which forced it upon me, because I think you would approve it….The lamented death of President Harrison will not occasion any departure by me from the rule, under the administration of his successor…." Clay clarifies his lack of response to Bascom's proposal regarding Transylvania: "…I have had very little to do with Transylvania of late years. I think I received your letter at Washn. and when I came out, I either found the Board contemplating another arrangement, or, amidst the exciting scenes of the Presidential Canvass, my visit to Nashville etc etc. I did not give the subject the attention which it deserved. The death of Genl Harrison is greatly to be lamented. The administration of his successor is in the nature of a Regency, and a Regency is often weak, factious, and intriguing. Mr. Tylers disposition, I cannot doubt, will be to co-operate in adopting the measures of the Whigs. He has indeed just said as much. He will want however the popularity, real or apparent, of Genl Harrison, to give moral weight to his recommendations etc…."
Estimated Value $4,000 - 6,000.
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Realized
$6,600
Lot 256
Clay, Henry (1777-1852) American lawyer and politician from Kentucky, famed for his oratory skills. He served three different terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives, was Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829., and made three bids for the presidency (1824, 1832 and 1844). Clay, Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun formed the "Great Triumvirate"; they were instrumental in formulating the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850.

Autograph letter signed ("H. Clay"), 2 pp, 10 x 8 in., Ashland, Jan. 9, 1845. Marked "Confidential." To Justice Joseph Story asking him to reconsider his retirement from the Supreme Court. In part: "…I was truly distressed to learn…that you entertain serious thoughts of finally retiring from the Bench. I sincerely hope that you will reconsider the matter, and come to a different conclusion. You are the only remaining member of what the Supreme Court of the U. States, in its bright and better days, once was. And your retirement from it, as it now is, would be a very great National misfortune." Appointed Associate Justice in 1811, Story remained on the Bench until his death on September 10, 1845.

Clay does not take gracefully his recent loss to Polk in the Presidential election: "The result of the Presidential election surprised every body but those who knew of the fraudulent means employed to produce it. I shared the common surprise; but the event affects me less by its direct influence on me than by the sympathy excited for our Country and friends….Never was so fine an opportunity wantonly lost of uniting the various sections of our Country upon leading measures of National policy, that of protection especially. You, in the free States, are chiefly to be reproached. Henceforward you ought to cease to up[b]raid us with slavery….I wish now to avoid taking too despondent a view of public affairs; but in spite of all my efforts, very few glimpses of light and hope breaka through the darkness of the gloomy future…."

Clay was expected to defeat Polk, but he came out against the annexation of Texas, a position that hurt his chances in the South. Polk, on the other hand, came out squarely for annexation. In the North, where Clay expected his stance on Texas to gain him votes, he was undercut by a third-party candidate, James G. Birney of Michigan, who drew much of the abolitionist vote because Clay and Polk were both slave owners. Birney didn't carry any one state but managed to tip New York, and the election, to Polk. Thus, Clay's complaint about "the free states."
Estimated Value $2,000 - 3,000.
Sotheby's New York, Nov 25, 1997, lot 228.

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Realized
$1,560
Lot 257
Colfax, Schuyler (1832-1885) Vice President under Grant, Speaker of the House of Representatives; his political career was ruined when he was implicated in the Credit Mobilier scandal. Carte de visite signed, 4 x 2 3/8 in., no place, no date. Light soiling, tack holes and abrasions to corners, lower right tip missing; mounting remnants on verso. Boldly signed in brown ink.
Estimated Value $200 - 250.
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Realized
$213
Lot 258
Dulles, John Foster (1888-1959) Secretary of State under Eisenhower (1953-59); he dominated both the making and the conduct of United States foreign policy during his years as Secretary. To C.H. MacLachlan, Editor of The Long-Islander newspaper, setting out why he intends to vote for Eisenhower. In part: "I am for him because he, and he alone, can lead our nation out of the international mess we are in….the American people are told by their Government that they are no longer masters of their own destiny…that it was inevitable that China should be lost…that we should get into an unending Korean war…that the West should lose great oil reserves in the Middle East…that Africa and…South America should turn hostile to us. Crippling taxes are inevitable….That mood of defeatism, if continued, will spell disaster. The free world is falling apart, and is picked up by Russian Communism, piece by piece….General Eisenhower…has been tested, in war and in peace, and not been found wanting."
Estimated Value $250 - 300.
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Realized
$150
Lot 259
Gallatin, Albert (1761-1849) Swiss-born American statesman and financier; longest-serving Secretary of the Treasury (1801-1814). Letter signed as Secretary of the Treasury, 1 page, 9¾ x 7¾ in., Treasury Department, Jan. 10, 1805. To Jonathan Williams of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, responding to his questions about interest payments on domestic and foreign debt. In part: "…I have the honor to observe that in conformity with the provisions of the acts respecting the public debt, the dividends on the Domestic Debt must necessarily be paid in the United States. The interest due on the Dutch Debt, and on the Louisiana Stock, is paid in Europe, by virtue of the contracts or convention under which such debt or stock originated…." The Louisiana Stock was floated by the Jefferson administration in order to finance the purchase of Louisiana from France. The Dutch Debt dated back to the time of the American Revolution and the loans that were negotiated by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. An important financial letter.
Estimated Value $300 - 400.
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Realized
$600
Lot 260
Houston, Sam (1793-1863) American politician and soldier, widely known for his role in bringing Texas into the United States. His victory at the Battle of San Jacinto secured the independence of Texas from Mexico. The only American to be elected governor of two different States, Texas and Tennessee. Houston was also the only Southern governor to oppose secession (which led to the outbreak of the American Civil War) and his decision to refuse an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy led to his removal from office by the Texas secession convention.

Autograph letter signed, 2 pages, 10½ x 7¾ in., on faint blue lined paper, Huntsville, Texas, October 18, 1859. To Hon. G.W. (George Washington) Paschal (1812-1878), Austin, Texas. Paschal was an intense union man and one of Sam Houston's supporters in opposition to secession. During the Civil War he was jailed, threatened by a mob, and held for trial by a court-martial due to reports of his Union sympathies. He feuded with John F. Marshall, editor of the Texas State Gazette, over the matter of reopening the slave trade in Texas (Texas was the last frontier of slavery in the United States), a measure that Paschal opposed. Houston informs Paschal about the current political climate. In full:

"My Dear Sir, I am here and of your last issue I hear them complain. They say you are too kind to Mr. [Senator Stephen A.] Douglas and fear that you are inclining to Squatter Sovereignty. They regard Douglas as the bane of National Democracy. Now for myself, I say let as little be said of politics as possible until the meeting of the Legislature. I was in Nacagdoches, when your issue came there, containing your challenge to Marshall to call out Reagan's correspondence. The east is not strong for Reagan. I declare that from this place, east & back again, I have heard but one man, that was favorable to Reagan. The people talk of Johnson & Smith for the Senate. Johnson will be the strongest man in my opinion. But of this we will say more, by & bye. I am anxious to see what Marshall has to say in reply to your call in relation to Reagan. I expect by the first or early in next month, with my family, to be at Burmingham, and remain there. I only intended to write you a memo when I began. To day I intend to start for Independence. Write to me, but for our sake dont touch Douglas with a fifty foot pole! Truly thine / Sam Houston." Large decorative signature with complex paraph below. Letter is lightly age toned and slightly faded.
Estimated Value $6,000 - 8,000.
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Realized
$8,125
Lot 261
Kennedy, Robert F. Typed letter signed ("Bob") as U.S. Attorney General, on official letterhead, 1 page, 10½ x 8 in., Washington, March 1, 1961. To Oklahoma senator Mike Monroney (1902-1980), thanking him for a letter from signed by Monroney and Senator Robert Kerr (1896-1963), also from Oklahoma, making recommendations for positions in the Department of Justice in Oklahoma. "I am most grateful for your helpfulness in this matter and assure you that the persons recommended by you will be given every consideration."
Estimated Value $250 - 300.
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Realized
$300
Lot 262
Marshall, George C (1880-1959) Chief of Staff U.S. Army (1941-45); Secretary of State (1947-49) and Secretary of Defense (1950-51); author of the Marshall Plan, for which he received the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize. Typed letter signed ("GC Marshall") as Secretary of State, on official letterhead, 1 page, 9 x 7 in., Washington, Aug. 12, 1947. To Congressman Harry H. Woodring of Kansas, who had been FDR's Secretary of War, mentioning his departure for Rio (in preparation for President Truman's trip there in September), and adding, "I am glad to have told you what actually happened here to disabuse your mind of the impression you would otherwise have had…." Marshall is probably referring to Woodring's unsuccessful attempt to obtain a post in the Truman administration. With the original transmittal envelope.
Estimated Value $200 - 250.
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Realized
$238
Lot 263
Mason, John Young (1799-1859) American politician, diplomat, and United States federal judge; he served as Secretary of the Navy under John Tyler (1844-45) and James K. Polk (1846-49) and as Attorney General (1845-46) under James K. Polk. Autograph letter signed ("J.Y. Mason") as Secretary of the Navy, 4 pages, 10 x 8 in., Navy Dept., Aug. 3, 1844. Addressed "To the President" (John Tyler), on the subject of buillding a dry dock or floating dock at Brooklyn, which was authorized by the 9th section of the Act of 1842. Mason discusses a Mr. Dakin's proposal for the construction of the floating dock, the stone basin, and "other appendages" and the price estimated by the department's engineer, which does not include continued dredging." He quotes at length the section of the act of June 17th pertaining to expanding the dock at Brooklyn under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, and gives his conclusion. He had personally examined the ground at the Navy Yard and the floating docks and "without the least doubt…adopted the plan which had been already commenced." He then tells the President which officers and engineers he intends to put in charge of the project, along with their experience.
Estimated Value $300 - 500.
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Realized
$188
Lot 264
McHenry, James (1753-1816) American statesman. McHenry was a signer of the U.S. Constitution from Maryland and the namesake of Fort McHenry. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress and Secretary of War (1796-1800), under George Washington and John Adams. Manuscript speech signed ("James McHenry / Secy. of War"), 3 pages, 13 x 8 1/8 in., "War department" [Philadelphia], Feb. 7, 1799. Titled "Speech of the Secretary of War to George Colbert a Chickasaw Chief," the speech is written in a fine clerical hand on fine wove paper watermarked "G & EP 1794," with blindstamp seal of the United States War Office. Repairs and reinforcement to folds affect legibility of two words of text, else fine.

George Colbert was one of several sons of Scots trader James Logan Colbert and his three Chickasaw wives. The sons were important tribal leaders leaders and George, in particular, would prove to be a valuable ally to the Americans during the War of 1812. In 1799, Chief Colbert traveled to Philadelphia from his home near Tupelo, Mississippi, for an audience with President Adams. McHenry writes to Colbert responding to questions the chief had raised regarding certain expenses and government reimbursement for the visit. McHenry explains that "when any Indian Chief or great Warrior comes on business from his nation to the seat of Government, at the desire of the Superintendant of Indian Affairs or person having power to authorize the Journey, it has always been the practice to bear the expences of the said Chief or Warrior to and from the seat of Government, at the same time it is understood that no expence is to be incurred, by the public, should he stop upon the road, to settle any private business…."

McHenry mentions fifty dollars which was given to Colbert "to be disposed of at your pleasure" and which could have been used for private business, as well as another fifty dollars which "the President sent you…in gold coin of the United States….if you have not yet received it, get it upon applying to the Commandant of the Garrison."

Addressing a perceived slight to Colbert's wife, McHenry writes, "Colonel Mentges has been directed to procure certain articles of dress for your wife and a piece of callico….I hope what she will receive will remove all cause of Jealousy from her mind. You may assure her that the President has been well pleased to see her at the seat of Government." He continues, " It is out of my power to do any thing for your brother. This claim against Chisolm must be settled by the Courts of law. It cannot be admitted by the accounting officers and paid by the public….It is also not in my power to allow any thing whatever to your Brother for his Negro, which he represents to have been killed by the Creeks. The Congress have made no provision to meet such cases, or to compensate the people of the respective red nations for losses, they may sustain by depredations from each other."

McHenry explains that no alteration has been made to the annual sum of three thousand dollars which was promised to Colbert's people, but it was possible that "more goods may have been delivered in one year, than in another, because more goods will be obtained for the same money at one time than another….The establishment of the post at the Chickasw Bluff cannot fail to be beneficial to the Chickasaws. This is explained in the talk to the Wolfs friend. But it will be further useful as affording a market for many little articles which your people can raise, and which will readily be bought up by the Garrison. It certainly was never meant to give the nation any expectations that the annuity would be increased." McHenry will fix with the Commandant of the Garrison at the Bluff a precise day for the distribution of the annuity and the Chickasaws will be notified beforehand "to prevent complaints & any unnecessary delay…."

In closing, McHenry assures Colbert, "It is by no means the intention of the President to countenance any intrusions on the land belonging to your nation. Should any such be made, measures will be taken, as soon as the fact is known, to turn off the intruders."

Reference: Not recorded in The Papers of the War Department 1784 to 1800.
Estimated Value $10,000 - 12,500.
Frank T. Siebert, Sotheby's, Oct. 28, 1999, lot 602.

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Realized
$3,120
Lot 265
Smith, Alfred E (1873 -1944) American statesman who was elected Governor of New York four times and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928. Typed letter signed, as governor, 2 pages, 10½ x 8 in., on gilt embossed State of New York, Executive Chamber letterhead, Albany, January 7, 1924. To John Golden, Hudson Theatre, New York City. Governor Smith writes regarding the constitutionality of the so called 'ticket speculator act.' Light general toning. Horizontal folds. Fine.
Estimated Value $200 - 250.
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Unsold
Lot 266
U.S. Socialists and Communists: Thomas, Browder, Gitlow, and Foster. Norman Thomas (1884-1968) American Presbyterian minister who was a socialist, a pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. Typed letter signed, 1 page, on League For Industrial, New York, Democracy letterhead, Nov. 13, 1930. To Vernon Smith in Indianapolis, telling him how he might obtain autographs of other Socialists, including Eugene Debs (who died in 1926) and Max Easton. Earl Browder (1891-1973) American political activist; General Secretary of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) during the 1930s and first half of the 1940s. Typed letter signed, 1 page, 11 x 8½ in., New York, Mar. 26, 1946. Less than two months after being expelled from the Communist Party, he writes the editor of The World Publishing Company about his projected autobiography and includes a three-page memorandum and a four-page carbon copy of a prospective letter to a literary agent giving a very detailed description of what he would include in the book. Ben Gitlow (1891-1965) Founding member of the Communist Party USA. who turned against it and wrote two sensational exposés. Typed letter signed as Secretary of the Organization Committee for a Revolutionary Workers party, 1 page, 11 x 8½ in., on official letterhead, New York, May 21, 1934. To six different groups inviting them to discuss launching a revolutionary party in the U.S. Marginal stains. William Z. Foster (1881-1961) Radical American labor organizer who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party USA from 1945 to 1957. Typed letter signed ("Wm Z Foster"), 1 page, 11 x 8½ in., no place, Dec. 30, 1941. After Pearl Harbor, to Art Young: "What a storm the world is passing through. But I am convinced it is the darkness before the dawn….I am sure that both you and I will live to see a world so vastly changed for the better that it will be hard to realize that society was once so insane as it is now."
Estimated Value $300 - 400.
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Realized
$175
Lot 267
New York Governors, Labor, and FBI Leaders. Collection of seven signatures: Thomas E. Dewey (1902-1971) Governor of New York and twice presidential candidate, on the verso of a postcard; Averell Harriman (1891-1986) Governor of New York, ambassador to the UK and the Soviet Union, on a New York Executive Mansion card; Herbert H. Lehman (1882-1963), Governor of New York, signature and best wishes to Janet, in pencil, on 2½ x 5 in. paper; Lee de Forest (1873-1961), scientist who invented the vacuum tube, on a 3¼ x 5½ in. card; John L. Lewis (1880-1969), president of the United Mine Workers, on a 3¼ x 5½ in. card; with a 1936 glossy 8 x 10 in. B&W photo of Lewis with FDR and the White House secretary in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; J. Edgar Hoover on autograph card as Director of the FBI, and a TLS, 1 page, on FBI letterhead, 9 ¼ x 7 in., Washington, Oct. 3, 1942, to Stanton Sweeney at the American Federation of Labor, thanking him for copies of resolutions adopted by the Indiana State Federation of Labor, and for the appreciation shown by Resolution No. 6, "…when there has been such a concerted effort to…cast suspicion on…the FBI by groups who are uninformed…."
Estimated Value $200 - 250.
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Realized
$60
Lot 268
Cardozo, Benjamin N (1870-1938) American jurist who served on the New York Court of Appeals and as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1932-1938). Autograph letter signed, 3 pages, in pencil, on personal stationery, 6½ x 5 1/8 in., Rye, N.Y., Aug. 10, 1935. Written during the summer recess of the Supreme Court to M.M. Menken, expressing pleasure at Menken's improved health and discussing his own health: "The doctors promise me a full return of health and strength before court reopens in October. Meanwhile, after the manner of doctors, they subject me to all manner of burdensome restraits…." One faint rust mark from paper clip on page 1, else fine.
Estimated Value $800 - 1,000.
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Unsold
Lot 269
Hughes, Charles E. Sepia-toned photograph inscribed and signed, "With cordial regards, Charles E. Hughes / Feb. 11, 1932" as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 13½ x 9½ in. A waist-up portrait in his Justice's robe. Photo by Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C. The very attractive photo is boldly signed. Mounting remnants down one edge of verso, else fine. By 1932 Hughes (1862-1948) had already served as Governor of New York (1907-1910), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1910-1916) and U.S. Secretary of State (1921-1925). In 1916 he was the Republican presidential candidate, losing to incumbent President Woodrow Wilson.
Estimated Value $250 - 350.
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Realized
$204






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