Lot 62: Unusual Card Signed by President Harrison, Vice-President Morton and Their Respective Wives
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Signed by President Harrison, Vice-President Morton and Their Respective Wives********** HARRISON, BENJAMIN. (1833-1901). Twenty-third president of the United States. Signed card. (“Benj. Harrison”). 1p. 12mo (card). New York, 1889. A card blind-embossed with the 85 Fifth Avenue address of Harrison’s Vice-President LEVI P. MORTON (1824-1920) who has also signed. (“Levi P. Morton”). Additionally signed by First Lady CAROLINE “CAMI” HARRISON (1832-1892, “Cami Scott Harrison”) and ANNA LIVINGSTON STREET MORTON (1846-1918, “Anna L. Morton”). ********** A lawyer and veteran of the Civil War, Harrison first entered politics in his home state of Indiana. Following a failed gubernatorial bid in 1881, he turned down a position in President Garfield’s cabinet to take a senate seat. Seven years later, he ran for president against incumbent Grover Cleveland; Harrison’s victory was at least partially due to voter fraud in New York and Indiana, a scandal that prompted the adoption of the secret ballot. During his single term in the White House, from 1889-1893, Harrison dealt with the volatile issues of the tariff and monopolies and admitted six states to the union. In 1892, Harrison ran against Cleveland again, but was defeated and returned to Indiana, where he sat on Purdue University’s board of trustees. He remained active in political campaigns, international relations, legal matters, and briefly lectured at Stanford University. ********** Morton represented New York in Congress before James Garfield appointed him ambassador to France. In fact, Garfield’s assassin, Charles Guiteau, was motivated to murder the president after Morton’s appointment, feeling that he had been passed over for the position. Morton’s popularity in France enhanced the relations between the two countries; he was honored by putting the first rivet in the Statue of Liberty in 1881. After serving as vice president from 1889 to 1893, he enjoyed one two-year term as governor of New York from 1895 to 1896. ********** Caroline Harrison was a trained music teacher but easily assumed the role of politician’s wife. As first lady she hosted elegant dinners and receptions, oversaw White House renovations, decorated the White House with its first Christmas tree, and helped establish the Daughters of the American Revolution. However, in 1891, she fell ill with tuberculosis and was unable to fulfill the duties of the first lady. She died in the White House the following year. ********** Morton married his second wife after being widowed in 1871. She served as hostess during the first lady’s illness and became a popular member of Washington society. ********** In near mint condition and an unusual example.