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William H. Seward ALS Re: Bleeding Kansas

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Lot 0020 Details

Description
Bleeding Kansas

William H. Seward ALS Regarding Bleeding Kansas

2pp ALS inscribed overall and signed by William H. Seward (1801–1872), American statesman, as "William HSeward" at the center of the second page. Written in Washington, D.C. on January 8, 1858. On cream laid bifold paper. The third page is blank and the fourth page is docketed. Expected paper folds and minor creases, else near fine. 5" x 8".

Seward wrote this letter to Colonel William Carpenter, his Auburn, New York neighbor. At the time, Seward was approaching his 10th anniversary as New York Senator; his first term had begun in March 1849. Seward is better known for performing his next political role: that of Secretary of State to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

In part:

"I love to receive letters from home, although so sorely pressed for time that I am unable to write oftener than once a week to my own wife, or even to write to my childrenÂ…

We are in a condition of nervous excitement here just now about Kansas. I do not see through it, any further than this: I do see that the Democratic party seems impelled to ruin itself."

President James Buchanan advocated the admission of Kansas as a slave state under the terms of the Lecompton Constitution--a document drafted under dubious circumstances--in a message delivered to Congress in December 1857. The Lecompton Constitution split the Democrats; while the Buchanan administration wanted Kansas admitted, Senator Stephen A. Douglas demanded a fair ratification vote. The Senate debated the matter through much of early 1858. Few Republicans joined the fray at first, content to watch the Democrats tear their party to shreds over the issue of slavery. The issue was complicated by the Supreme Court's ruling in Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857) that neither Congress nor local government could ban slavery in the territories.

William H. Seward "delighted Republican ears and utterly appalled administration Democrats, especially the Southerners", after a speech he delivered on March 3, 1858 in the Senate (Mark J. Stegmaier, "Intensifying the Sectional Conflict: William Seward versus James Hammond in the Lecompton Debate of 1858".) Seward accused President Buchanan and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney of conspiring to form the Dred Scott decision. Seward so infuriated the powers-that-be that Taney later told a friend that if Seward had been elected in 1860, he would have refused to administer him the oath of office. President Buchanan reputedly banned Seward from the White House. Seward was correct, however, in predicting that the institution of slavery was doomed.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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William H. Seward ALS Re: Bleeding Kansas

Estimate $300 - $400Aug 28, 2019
Starting Price $100
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Ships fromWestport , CT, United States
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