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James Buchanan

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James Buchanan, 1791–1868.  15th President of the United States, 1857–1861.  Very fine condition Autograph Letter Signed, James Buchanan, one page, 8 x 10”, Washington, [D.C.], July 13, 1840, with integral leaf bearing Buchanan’s free frank, Free / James Buchanan.

This letter boasts two bold Buchanan signatures—one at the conclusion of the letter itself and one in the free frank on the integral leaf. 

Buchanan, then a United States Senator from Pennsylvania, expresses his desire to strengthen the political ties between Pennsylvania and Virginia but nevertheless politely declines an invitation to visit Winchester, Virginia.  He writes, in full:  “If it were in my power, I should most willingly accept your invitation to Winchester.  It would afford me the greatest pleasure to cultivate the personal acquaintance of your citizens; and by every means in my power to strengthen the bonds which have so long happily united the Democracy of the ‘Ancient Dominion’ & the ‘Keystone’.  With such feelings I regret that it will not be in my power to gratify my inclination.  I do not yet know whether it will be possible for me to leave this city before the 23d instant; & both public and private engagements require me to return home as speedily as possible, after the adjournment.  /  With sentiments of the highest respect, I remain yours sincerely . . . .”

The letter is clean and bright.  Buchanan has signed with a 4” signature and added another 4” signature in the free frank. The outside of the integral leaf is slightly soiled, as one would expect, but the address panel, with its Washington City postmark, is nevertheless attractive.  Portions of the red wax seal are still present.  There are remnants from prior mounting on the outside of the integral leaf, but they do not affect the address panel.  Only tiny holes at the intersections of the horizontal and vertical folds, affecting a couple of letters in the text, keep us from grading the letter very fine.  Overall we consider it to be in fine condition. 




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