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Lot 20: Buchanan Free Frank Addressed to Pennsylvania Attorney General
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Buchanan Free Frank Addressed to Pennsylvania Attorney General********** BUCHANAN, JAMES. (1791-1868). Fifteenth U.S. president. Free Frank, addressed and signed in his hand. (“James Buchanan”). 1p. Oblong 12mo. Washington, D.C., April 15, N.y. (c. 1829-1836). To Harrisburg attorney, businessman and Pennsylvania Attorney General THOMAS ELDER (1767-1853). ********** In 1856, Buchanan, a former senator, diplomat and secretary of state, was elected president at a time when relations between the southern, slave-holding states and the northern states were becoming increasingly strained. Despite hailing from Pennsylvania, Buchanan’s sympathies were with the south and his split allegiances kept him from taking any action against secession, which rendered him ineffectual. He did not run for reelection and was succeeded by Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Historians regularly cite Buchanan as one of the worst presidents in American history. ********** Thomas Elder had fought to help put down the Whiskey Rebellion before settling into a long and distinguished legal career in Harrisburg. He served as state attorney general from 1820 to 1823, and, though he did not pursue further political office, maintained ties with leading political figures of the day, He is credited with suggesting the idea of William Henry Harrison’s “log cabin” identity used in his 1840 presidential campaign. ********** With a red-ink postmark in the upper left corner (“CITY OF WASHINGTON”) and the word “FREE” stamped in red across the addressee’s name. Folded with normal wear and mounting traces on the verso. The address leaf is in fine condition.