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Frank Murphy


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


" . . . because of my absence from the capital I cannot accept your gracious invitation."

William Francis Murphy, 1890-1949. Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, 1940-1949.  Autographed Letter Signed, Frank Murphy, one page, 8" x 9½", on engraved stationery of the Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D.C., May 15, 1948.

Murphy, an appointee of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, writes to then-Attorney General Tom C. Clark, courteously declining an invitation for a golf outing.  In full:  “It was thoughtful of you to invite me to the golf tournament but because of my absence from the capital  I cannot accept your gracious invitation.  /  With every good wish."

There is paper loss at the upper left corner where the letter was torn away from a staple, which is no longer present, and Murphyʼs name is written at the top right in another hand.  The letter also has two normal horizontal mailing folds, a paper clip impression at the left edge that affects two letters of the text, the Attorney General's red received stamp in the blank lower margin.  Overall it is in fine condition. 

Provenance:  This letter comes from the personal collection of Justice Clark, who served on the Supreme Court from 1949 until 1967. Justice Clark collected the autographs of Supreme Court Justices dating back into the 19th Century.  This one comes with the backing page, which bears the federal eagle watermark and Justice Murphyʼs 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. We are privileged to offer a number of items from this collection.




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