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Howell E. Jackson


From the personal collection of Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark


Jackson orders a spittoon for his office

Howell Edmunds Jackson, 1832–1895.  Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1893–1895.  Extremely rare Manuscript Note Signed, Howell E. Jackson / Justice, one page, 5" x 4", no place [Washington, D.C.], no date.

This is a highly desirable internal Supreme Court memo from Justice Jackson to court personnel asking for accessories for his office.  In full:  “Please let the bearer have two waste-baskets and a cuspidor for my office."

Because of his early death, Jackson's autograph material as a Justice is rare.  Internal Supreme Court memoranda are rarer yet.  A native of Kentucky, the Democrat Jackson was appointed to the Supreme Court by Republican President Benjamin Harrison in 1893, but he served only 2 years, 5 months, and 21 days on the Court before he died of tuberculosis.  

The note is written in pencil in another hand on a small piece of paper with a perforated right edge.  Jackson has boldly signed it and added his title in brown fountain pen.  The piece is uniformly toned, and there are folds across the upper left corner that affect the text but not Jackson's signature.  Overall the piece is in fine condition.

Provenance:  This note comes from the personal collection of Justice Tom C. Clark, who served on the Supreme Court from 1949 until 1967. Justice Clark collected the autographs of other Supreme Court Justices dating back into the 19th Century.  We are privileged to offer a number of items from the collection.  This one comes with the backing page, which bears the federal eagle watermark and Justice Jacksonʼs typed name, that Justice Clark inserted behind the item in the page protector used to house this letter his collection.  This note is not laid down to the backing sheet.





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