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Promissory Note in the Hand of Future President Rutherford B.Hayes While a Lawyer in Lower Sandusky, Ohio
Rutherford B. Hayes (USA, 1822 - 1893)

Autograph Document with ADS as an endorsement on reverse, 1p, 8vo, L(ower). Sandusky, Ohio, July 12, 1845. A promise to pay $333.19 "for value recd with use from date..."one year from the date of the note. Signed by John Kistler and Daniel Brainard.On verso Hayes has written, "Pay to the order of R.B.Hayes...Dec.17, 1845".

Early period for Hayes, having just graduated Harvard Law School and only begun his practice in 1845. He continued practicing law for only two years when he developed a respiratory illness and moved to Texas for his health,with his uncle in 1847. He would not take up the law again until 1850.


President Hoover Writes a Letter to an New York American Legion Post Praising World War I Veterans
Herbert Hoover (USA, 1874 - 1964)

TLS, as President, 1p, 4to,The White House, February 1, 1932. To Dr.Abraham Jablons, Grand Street Post No.1025, The American Legion, NYC. Sends a message to and American Legion post: "Please convey to the Grand Street Boys and their guests, the Disabled Veterans of the World War of the metropolitan area of New York, my cordial greetings in connection with the annual dinner. The occasion reflects the gratitude which all citizens feel for all time for their unselfish service to the country". Two file holes at the top, not affecting text.


Andrew Jackson (USA, 1767 - 1845)

ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845). Seventh President of the U.S. ALS, 1p, 4to, August 28, 1828. With integral leaf addressed to “The Honble James K, Polk, Columbia, Tennessee”. Docketed in Polk’s hand, “General Andrew Jackson.

At this time Jackson, having lost the previous election four years before to John Quincy Adams, ran as the Democratic candidate and won in a landslide. Less than six months after this letter was written, Jackson was sworn in as the seventh President of the United States. Polk was a protégé of Andrew Jackson and was a sitting member of the House of Representatives at the time of this letter; he went on to become the eleventh President.

Jackson writes:

“August 28th, 1828

My Dr/Sir,

Yours of the 26th inst has been received; I thank you for the information contained, & should it become necessary, will accept of your kind offer, & call upon you.

With respectful compliments to your mother & family, & your amiable lady, believe me yr friend,

Andrew Jackson”

Another interesting aspect of this letter is that in addition to one future president writing another, both have penned the other’s name in their hand.


President Andrew Johnson Issues a Pass Allowing General John W. Denver to Visit Benjamin Ficklin, a Prisoner in The Old Capital Prison, as Counsel
Andrew Johnson (USA, 1808 - 1875)

ANDREW JOHNSON (1808-1875). Seventeenth President of the United States who took office upon the assassination President Abraham Lincoln. Partly printed DS, 1p, oblong 8vo, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., June 12th, 1865. With the original printed envelope “From the President of the United States.” And a manuscript endorsement to the left, “Pass to see Ficklin”.

A rare pass granting permission to “General Denver to visit – Ficklin, a prisoner in the Old Capitol Prison and confer with him as counsel privately, till further orders. Andrew Johnson.” Extremely rare as very few people were allowed into this prison which housed several conspirators and Civil War criminals.

General James William “Jim” Denver (1817-1892). American politician, soldier, and lawyer. Served as a Democratic Representative from California, Governor of Kansas Territory, and practiced law after the Civil War. The City of Denver is named after him.

Benjamin Franklin Ficklin (1827-1871) Graduate of VMI; helped establish the Pony Express and other mail routes in the U.S.; partly responsible for the formation of the Pacific Telegraph Company. While on a secret peace mission for the Confederacy toward the end of the war, he was in Washington at the time of Lincoln’s assassination. He had been a purchasing agent and an intelligence officer for the Confederate States. He was arrested by Federal troops and placed in The Old Capitol Prison; Mary Surratt, John Ford, and Dr. Samuel Mudd, John Mosby, and Henry Wirz were fellow inmates when Ficklin was imprisoned. Due to his connections and with the help General Denver, Ficklin was exonerated.


Lyndon Johnson Acknowledges His "Namesake"
Lyndon Baines Johnson (USA, 1908 - 1972)

Typed Letter Signed "LBJ:, Austin, Texas, February 28, 1972. To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Colbert. He writes, " Thanks for sending me that good picture of your young son and my namesake. I am so proud of him that I have written him the enclosed letter" (not present).

Now while this sounds innocuous enough, an ex-president happy that someone named their child Lyndon Baines, it was actually a ruse to obtain Johnson's autograph.Bob Colbert, an elevator operator in Philadelphia, was what we used to call an autograph hound. He would write to famous people and tell them, like in this letter, that he had named his son (or daughter) after that person. In actuality Bob had only one son named Robert Colbert,Jr.! Of particular note was the time he created an international incident. Bob had written to Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and told him he had named his newborn son, Yasser Arafat Colbert. Colbert got a congratulatory letter back from Arafat but he went much further. While attending a meeting of the United Nations Arafat thought it would be great publicity and perhaps a dig at the United States if he paid a visit to his namesake in Philadelphia. Of course, not only was there no Yasser Arafat Colbert, Mrs. Colbert had been unable to have children for many years. The wire services and of course all the Philadelphia newspapers carried the story of Arafat's planned visit and the aftermath. It is hard to imagine a more embarrassing moment to all parties, when Colbert had to divulge that he had lied to Arafat to obtain his autograph! This may have been the last time Bob tried the namesake ploy, or maybe not!


Taft Signs a Certificate of Membership of the University Club, of the City of Washington, District of Columbia, as "President"
William Howard Taft (USA, 1857 - 1930)

Printed DS, 1p, 4to, [Washington, DC], n.d. Scarce document signed by Taft as President of the University Club of DC, in blank. What makes this interesting is that Taft, a former President of the United States, is signing a document as a different kind of "President"!


Truman Signs a Letter in the Last year of His Life
Harry S Truman (USA, 1884 - 1972)

President. TLS, 1p, 4to, Independence, Missouri, January 11, 1972. Sends a signed photograph (not enclosed); signed with his shaky aged signature.


Superb George Washington Franked Leaf Addressed to Brigadier General George Weedon Less Than A Month Before The Surrender at Yorktown in 1781
George Washington (USA, 1732 - 1799)

Address panel that bears original franking signature of George Washington, addressed in the hand of his aide-de-camp John Trumbull, to “Brig(adie)r General [George]Weedon, Glouster County.” General Weedon was ordered by Washington to attack Lord Banastre Tarleton and thus isolate Lord Cornwallis and his troops. Docketed by Weedon while in Williamsburg, VA, Sept. 29, 1781, less than a month before Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown Sold