Lot 4: John Quincy Adams Handwritten Manuscript
10th October 2018
Handwritten manuscript draft by John Quincy Adams, unsigned, four pages on two adjoining sheets, 6.75 x 8.5, no date but circa 1842. Adams composes a poetic eulogy, given before Congress in honor of his late colleague Samuel L. Southard, who had served in his cabinet as Secretary of the Navy. In small part: "He is gone! Full not of years but of honors in which had the undiscerning shaft of death pierced another bosom instead of his own it would have elevated him to the summit of power in this union and made him at this moment, the chief ruler of the land. Earthly honours and earthly powers for him are deposited in that Tomb, to which we are about to follow his earthly remains. During the period of six years while we were united as colleagues and fellow servants in the Executive department of the Government, my personal relations with Mr. Southard necessarily became of daily occurrence, intimate and in the highest degree confidential and they opened to my attentive observation of his character a mine of intellectual and moral worth richer than diamonds or rubies." In fine condition, with small repairs to fold splits. In mentioning Southard’s closeness to “the summit of power in this union,” Adams makes reference to his position as president pro tempore of the Senate—next in the line of presidential succession, should President Tyler have passed away while in office. A moving and powerful remembrance written by the former president, who was then representing Massachusetts in Congress.
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