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John H. Clarke

John Hessin Clarke, 1857-1945.  Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1916-1922.  Rare Autograph Letter Signed, John H. Clarke, two pages (recto and integral leaf), 5" x 8", Nantucket, Massachusetts, July 12, 1917. On engraved stationery of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Clarke, away from Washington, D.C., for the summer, thanks the South Carolina Bar Association for honorary membership but politely declines its invitation to attend the annual meeting.  In full: “I very greatly appreciate the honor which the Bar of South Carolina has conferred upon me in electing me to honorary membership in the State Bar Association, and I sincerely regret that that [sic] earlier engagements render it impossible for me to accept your gracious and cordial invitation to attend the annual meeting of the Association in next August.  /  The value of the Bar Associations in the country to our profession and to our country cannot be overstated and I am wishing that your meeting may be in the largest measure pleasant and profitable."

Clarke's letters are rare, particularly as a Justice, because he served only six years on the Supreme Court.  This is a nice example from his brief tenure.  The letter has mailing folds and one file hole on both pages that does not affect either the text or signature.  Overall the letter is in excellent condition.


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