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James Buchanan

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James Buchanan, 1791-1868.  15th President of the United States, 1857-1861.  Very fine condition 3 x 5 free frank, addressed by Buchanan and signed Free / James Buchanan.

This piece has an excellent association. Buchanan has addressed it to Nathan Tyson of Baltimore.  Tyson (1787-1867), an abolitionist, was the son of well-known Quaker abolitionist and philanthropist Elisha Tyson.  Given Buchanan's views on slavery, it is interesting indeed that he was writing to an abolitionist.

This free frank is very nice.  It is on the front panel trimmed from a larger letter. The paper is exceptional for its age and has only one horizontal fold, which affects nothing. There are mounting traces and dealer pencil notations on the back, but they do not show through.  The postal markings do not touch either Buchanan's handwriting or his signature, both of which are extremely bold.

The piece has been richly double matted in garnet suede, with an inlaid gilt fillet, an official presidential engraving of Buchanan, and an engraved brass identification plate. It is framed in an ornate gilt wood frame.


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