Lot 27: James K. Polk

RR Auction

RR Auction

2015-12-18 16:58:44

Lot 27: Outstanding ALS as president, three pages on two adjoining sheets, 7.75 x 9.75, October 14, 1848. Letter to Vice President George Dallas. In part: "The result of the late election in Pennsylvania was unexpected, though I am far from believing that the State will be lost to the Democracy in November. I have not heretofore regarded the success of the Democratic Party in the Presidential election as doubtful, or that any thing was likely to happen to make it so. If however the great state of Pennsylvania should give way, and vote with our opponents we may be defeated. Can this be possible? Will you give me your opinion on the subject? I am aware of the embarrassment which is produced in some of the northern States, by the secession of a few prominent Democrats, and their Union with the Abolitionists; under the more popular name of the advocates of free soil; but I have hoped and believed that there were few such in the staunch old Democratic State of Pennsylvania. Surely these Democratic leaders must see, that the only effect of further persisting in their course, must be not to advance their own single idea, but to aid the Whigs to overthrow the Democratic Party and policy. If they persist in their cause, the effect will be the same as if they were to vote for the Whig candidate. Some of these I know are ready to go this length, to gratify their personal revenge upon the Democratic party, for failing to appreciate, as they think they should have done, their merits, but I hope there are very few of this class." In fine condition, with intersecting folds, show-through from writing on opposing sides of the first page, and an unobtrusive stain to upper right corner. Accompanied by an unsigned engraved portrait of Polk. Provenance: The Everett Fisher Collection.Polk had won the presidential election in 1844 as the dark horse candidate, thanks in part to winning Pennsylvania and its twenty-six electoral votes—second only to New York's thirty-six votes, which he also won. Despite Polk's popularity due to his success in annexing Texas, he maintained his promise to serve only a single term and Lewis Cass was nominated as the Democratic candidate. One of the key roadblocks to a Democrat victory in the election was the emergence of the Free Soil Party, which put forth the former president and ex-Democrat Martin Van Buren as its nominee. He received ten percent of the popular vote, which could have very well been the difference that swayed the election in favor of the Whig candidate, Zachary Taylor. A scarce format, this is an exemplary letter boasting choice political content. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 467 Wednesday, 13th January 2016 Estimate: $10000-12000
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