Lot 54: Hand Addressed Free Frank by Former First Lady Lucretia Garfield
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: GARFIELD, LUCRETIA. (1832-1918). Free Frank on a black-bordered envelope. (“Lucretia R. Garfield, Free”). 1p. 16mo. (West Mentor, Ohio, August 6, 1910). Addressed in her hand to the Pasadena Land and Water Co. with the word “Free” added beneath her franking signature. ********** Lucretia met James Garfield while both were students in Ohio and they married nearly a decade later, forming what was by all accounts a happy union. Even after his election to Congress and, in 1880, the presidency, Lucretia referred to her husband by the rank he had attained during the Civil War, as “General Garfield.” Though she was in New Jersey recovering from a case of malaria when he was shot in July 1881, she remained by his side in a moving, though failed attempt to nurse him back to health. In December 1881, Congress granted her free use of the mails followed, three months later, by a widow’s pension, at the same time granting pensions to the widows of presidents Tyler and Polk. While maintaining a home in her native Ohio, the former first lady spent her winters in Pasadena where she had a home built by the famed California architectural firm Greene and Greene, the principals of which were her distant relations. ********** The black ink postmark touches the free frank. Dust staining and contemporary ink stains. Mounting traces on the verso. In very good condition.