Lot 30: Free franked mailing envelope, 5.25 x 3, addressed by his daughter Betty T. Bliss to the wife of her cousin, "Mrs. William Taylor," and franked in the upper right by Taylor as president, "Z. Taylor." Postmarked at Washington on April 1 and again in New Orleans on April 9, , with the original New Orleans address crossed out and replaced with one in Mobile, Alabama. Bliss also added a "Free" notation to the upper left. In fine condition.Includes the originally enclosed lengthy ALS, signed "Betty T. Bliss," four pages on two adjoining sheets, 7 x 8.5, April 1, 1850. The letter is headed with an unheeded instruction: "Commit this to the flames as soon as read." In part: "What is Dick about in New Orleans? He has not written Pa a line for Mother, and he (Pa) has only heard of the inundation of Plantation through the newspapers. It is really outrageous and I am surprised at Pa's submitting to it…Anne Payne (Mrs Madison's niece) is to be married very shortly to a Dr. Caustin of this place, a very worthy good man I am told. You will no doubt hear ere this reaches you through the newspapers of Mr Calhoun's death. He died yesterday morning and is to be buried tomorrow. His death has been daily looked for, for some weeks." Repaired separations to intersecting folds and some show-through from writing to opposing sides, otherwise fine condition. Betty Bliss served an unusual role during her father's presidency, stepping up as first lady after her mother declined the social role. As noted in this letter, John C. Calhoun—former vice president and Senator from South Carolina, best known for championing Southern causes, including slavery—had just died the day before from tuberculosis. Letters by Bliss are very scarce—especially those written during her time in the White House.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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