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William R. Day


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


Day requests a carriage for the President Theodore Rooseveltʼs New Yearʼs reception

William Rufus Day, 1849-1923.  Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1903-1922; United States Secretary of State, 1898.  Very scarce Autographed Note Signed, William R. Day, on the reverse of an engraved 3½" x 4½" Supreme Court Marshal's card, December 26, 1908. 

Day responds to the marshal's handwritten request whether he would like a carriage for the President's Reception on January 1, 1909, which would have been with President Theodore Roosevelt, who appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1903.  In full:  “I shall be obliged to you for the use of a carriage on New Years day and evening."

Day apparently first spelled "marshal" as "marshall" but then rubbed out the mistake, which still shows. 

Day's letters are very scarce, and this short note is no less uncommon.  In addition, desirable internal Supreme Court correspondence only occasionally comes on the market. 

This card has mounting remnants at the top of the back of the card on which Day has written his note.  It also has the stamp of the marshal's office dated December 28, 1908, which does not affect either Day's handwriting or signature, a faint paperclip impression, and a pencil note "over" in another hand on the front side of the card beneath the marshal's note.  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 Dauʼs typed name, that Justice Clark inserted behind the item in the page protector used to house this piece his collection.  This piece is not laid down to the backing sheet.




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