On May 31, 1906, King Alfonso XIII of Spain married Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the only daughter of Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria.
(1) Manuscript Document Signed "Theodore Roosevelt" as President and "Elihu Root" as Secretary of Stare, 1p, 10.5" x 14". Washington, April 11, 1906. Embossed 3.5-inch diameter paper seal affixed at lower left. Bold 6-inch long presidential signature! Extra fine condition.
In part, "Know Ye, that reposing special trust and confidence in the Integrity , Prudence and Ability of Frederick W. Whitridge, of New York, I do hereby designate and appoint him Ambassador Extraordinary of the United States of America, on Special Mission as the representative of this Government upon the occasion of the wedding of King Alfonso XIII, of Spain, in June next, with all the privileges and authorities of right appertaining to this commission…"
(2) Typed Letter Signed "Wm Loeb Jr" as Secretary of President Theodore Roosevelt, 1p, 5.5" x 9". The White House, Washington, April 9, 1906. To Hon. F.W. Whitridge, 59 Wall Street, New York. In part, "I first take the opportunity to extend to you my congratulations on your appointment, which I had hoped to do in person while you were here, buy you slighted me this time..." With eleven words in his hand. Fine condition.
(3) Typed Letter Signed "Elihu Root" as Secretary of State, 1p, 8.25" x 13.25". Department of State, Washington, April 25, 1906. To Frederick W. Whitridge, New York City. In part, "I transmit herewith your commission as Ambassador Extraordinary of the United States of America, on Special Mission, to represent this Government upon the occasion of the wedding of King Alphonso XIII of Spain, in June next, and, with office copy, the President’s autograph letter extending his congratulations to the King…" Fine condition.
(4) Typed Letter Signed "Wm Loeb Jr" as Secretary to the President, 1p, 5.5" x 9". The White House, Washington, April 26, 1906. To Hon. Frederick W. Whitridge, 59 Wall Street, New York. In full, "By direction of the President I enclose you here with two autograph letters from him to King Edward and the German Emperor." Fine condition.
(5) Frederick W. Whitridge. Carbon Typed Letter, not signed, 23pp, 8.5" x 11", separate sheets held together with original paper fastener. Paper tears on last page. Special American Embassy, Madrid. Undated. To Elihu Root, Secretary of State, Washington, D.C. "59 Wall Street" (Whitridge’s office) is penciled in the upper right of the first page. There are a few edits in Whitridge’s hand.
In part, "In accordance with my instructions from you, of April 25th, transmitting to me my commission as Ambassador Extraordinary of the United States of America on a special mission to represent our Government on the occasion of the wedding of King Alphonse[sic] XIII. of Spain, together with the President’s autograph letter of congratulations to him, I sailed from New York on the 28th of April on my way to Madrid…" Whitridge then gives a detailed report of his time in Madrid. "… Arriving at the Palace the Embassy waited in the Throne Room, and were presented one by one to the King … I said to him, in presenting the President’s letter:- 'The President charged me, in delivering this letter, to give to your Majesty the assurance of his highest regard … I esteem myself most happy to be thus the bearer of a nation’s good-will, especially on the auspicious occasion of your marriage with a charming Princess from the motherland of my own country…"
"The whole ceremony in San Geronimo, with all the light, color and formality, was in fact magnificent and formed a splendid spectacle … Immediately after the wedding was concluded, at about two o’clock, I, and most of the other envoys, went to view as much of the procession return to the Palace from the Church as was possible … When the procession reached the neighbourhood of the Royal Palace, and after all the Princes had passed, a young man who had been living in a boarding establishment on the 4th floor of a house, threw a bomb at the Royal carriage as it passed, which probably struck either the pole of the carriage or the wheel, and instantly filled the carriage with smoke, killed the two wheel horses, an aide-de-camp who was riding at the side of the carriage, and a number of soldiers and bystanders."
"It is thought there must have been two bombs for persons were killed in the balconies of the first, second and third stories, directly under the balcony from where the bomb was thrown, and some of these persons were wounded in the top of the head, which precludes the supposition that the missile came from below them. The total death roll is now I believe about forty. The royal carriage was dragged by the unwounded horses fifteen or twenty feet beyond the place where the explosion first occurred, and the young couple must have sat in it for at least two minutes before two or three high officials reached its side, as they did while it was still filled with smoke. They say the King first satisfied himself that the Queen was uninjured, then waved to the crowd, jumped out and gave orders about surrounding the house and to bring back the coche de respoto. When it came the Queen was handed into it from the wrecked coach and the procession went on. Throughout these awful minutes, the Queen, although excited, perfectly maintained her self-possession. The crowd was wonderfully excited and the troops and police drew their swords, and there were some moments of great confusion…"
"As soon as they reached the Palace the Queen went upstairs and by this time was crying bitterly, though not hysterically, and disappeared for a few minutes, for her wedding gown, poor girl, was spattered with the blood – probably of the horses or the aide-de-camp, for as the coach was moved on by the unwounded horses she probably did not see the ghastly and gruesome things which were to be seen exactly where the bomb exploded, - the bodies of the soldiers, a little child whose legs were blown off, and a girl of twelve whose head was literally blown to pieces. A few minutes after arriving at the Palace the King seems to have lost his self-possession, and cried:- ‘Forgive me for having brought you to this horrible country. I ought never to have asked anybody to come to it’, but this lasted only for a very few minutes…"
Whitridge writes in detail of the "State-Bull-fight," "Capilla Publico," a gala at the Opera, a private ball, and other royal events, and of meeting other wedding guests including the Prince of Wales (future King George V), Russian Grand Duke Vladimir, Duchess of Genoa, and the Duke and Duchess of Wellington.
Also includes: (6) Whitridge’s calling card as Ambassador Extraordinary (mounting remnants on verso); (7) his card of admission to the Church of San Geronimo for the wedding, right corner torn off; (8) ALS "Mary Haight Phelps" (widow of Edward J. Phelps, U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain) congratulating him upon his appointment; (9) handwritten May 30, 1906, déjeuner menu, (10) ALS "G G Buckler" (wife of William H. Buckler) telling Whitridge her husband “will be proud” to be Secretary on his mission to Madrid; (11)(12) two partly printed documents (May 25 & June 5) from the Mayordomo Mayor of His Majesty Carlos Martínez de Irujo y del Alcázar, Duke of Sotomayor, one signed by him.
Ten additional cards and invitations to Whitridge or family members, 1904-1908, are also in this archive.
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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