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Henry Ward Beecher

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“ . . . the public welfare would be promoted by the exercise of executive clemency”

 Henry Ward Beecher, 1813–1887.  American minister and abolitionist.  Partial Autograph Letter Signed, Henry Ward Beecher, two pages (recto and verso), 5” x 8”, no place, no date.

This partial letter appears to be part of Beecher’s request that the Governor of New York grant clemency to a convict.  Present are pages 3 and 5 of the letter.  Beecher writes, in part:  “ . . . extended for many many years—indeed, Gilman’s punishment is but begun. From his position in society, he has to meet it in a thousand forms after he should return from prison, & to a degree far more severe than falls upon humble men; — as he will meet a more rigorous public sentiment. . . . But, I sincerely think that this is a case in which the public welfare would be promoted by the exercise of executive clemency.  /  I am, dear sir – / Very truly yours . . . .”

This piece has a beautiful 4” full signature by Beecher, with a paraph underneath.  He has written and signed the letter in brown ink.  The piece has flattened intersecting mailing folds, one of which runs vertically through one letter of Beecher’s signature.  The piece is in fine condition, and we would grade it very fine were it not for the fact that it is only part of the original letter.


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