A PRESIDENTIAL, OR MORE ACCURATLEY: A VICE PRESIDENTIAL RARITY!
ARTHUR, CHESTER A. (1829-86). Twenty-first President of the United States (1881-5), who gained the presidency when President James A. Garfield (1881) was assassinated. Exceedingly-scarce Autograph Letter Signed, “C.A. Arthur”, as Vice President, on exceedingly-rare imprinted Vice-President’s Chamber stationery. Two separate pages, [1st and 3rd pages], small octavo. Washington, D.C., March 11, 1881. Some folding and minor staining, else fine condition. To “Saml. A. Lewis, Esq., New York”. Arthur writes:
“My dear Mr. Lewis, I have your note of yesterday. I can not possibly get away now or for at least a fortnight to come (except maybe on a Sunday) and I hope you will be able to proceed without me. Thanking you for your kind wishes I am, very faithfully yours, C.A. Arthur”.
On July 2, 1881, Charles J. Guiteau, shot President Garfield at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington D.C. The wound was not immediately fatal, but he died on September 19, 1881, from sepsis. Arthur assumed the Presidency on his death. We have not seen another letter written on this stationery, by Arthur, as V.P., in all our years of dealing in historic material. We can only assume, any letter written as such, to be exceedingly rare. A presidential specialist’s letter seeking the unique item, and worthy of inclusion in the finest of Presidential collections.