Sep 30, 2021 - Sale 2580

Sale 2580 - Lot 125

Price Realized: $ 4,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(DIPLOMACY.) Papers of Charles Tuckerman, the first United States Minister to Greece. Approximately 250 items (0.5 linear feet) in one box; condition generally strong. Various places, 1837-1924

Additional Details

Charles Keating Tuckerman (1827-1896) was raised in a distinguished Boston family, and directed the New York Institution for the Blind in the 1850s. In 1868, he was appointed as the United States Minister Resident to Greece--the first American diplomat stationed in Greece, and forerunner to the modern ambassador post. Tuckerman became friendly with George I, the young king of Greece (a group of personal letters from the King to Tuckerman will appear in Swann's 28 October Fine Books and Autographs auction). He resigned his post in 1871, and returned to America to publish "The Greeks of To-day" and other books.

A file of 76 letters and autographs includes many letters received during his time as Minister to Greece, including several letters in Greek; a transcript of Andrew Johnson's letter to the King introducing Tuckerman; and letters signed by William Seward, Hamilton Fish, Bishop Alexander Griswold, William Ellery Channing, Rufus Choate, Lydia Sigourney, George Peabody, and diplomats Abbott Lawrence, Eugene Schuyler and John Bigelow. 7 pages from Tuckerman's outgoing letterbooks include an 1869 denunciation of the controversial diplomat William James Stillman. Tuckerman asserted that Stillman was "paid considerable sums of money" by the owner of a Greek shipping firm," made "more reprehensible as he was at the time a Consul of the United States in Crete." A packet of "Valuable papers" includes a partial manuscript for his apparently unpublished essay "Our Foreign Service," typescripts and manuscripts of several of his poems, and clippings on his career as an author. Another packet includes calling cards, invitations and menus from his period in Greece; one manuscript menu is marked "Sat on the King's right at Corfu." Tuckerman's small scrapbook of newspaper clippings extends from 1857 through his 1868 appointment to Greece, with several clippings in Greek. A packet of 50 cartes-de-visite includes numerous family members, but also Greek and other European diplomats. The earliest material in the lot is a bundle of 50 numbered compositions which Tuckerman wrote at Boston Latin School, 1837 and 1838.

Also included are some papers of Tuckerman's two sons. New York poet and lawyer Fleming Tuckerman (1858-1923) was the author of "War Poems in French and English" (1917). This lot includes a file of 50 letters addressed to him, 1888-1924, most of them lightly tipped to loose scrapbook leaves. Most of the letters relate to relations with Europe during the era of the first World War, including numerous letters from Congressmen--4 from Henry Cabot Lodge. Fleming received a letter from the Greek minister to the United States on 19 November 1918, thanking him for his continued friendship to Greece, and assuring him that the newly deposed Kaiser Wilhelm would never be an official guest in his nation: "Every Greek would protest against such a destination of even an infinitesimal particle of their country. The sky of Corfu on the other hand is too beautiful to bear the presence there of the man who is responsible of such havoc as spread over the world during the last four and half years." Wilhelm would indeed take up an extended residence on Corfu in the coming years. Fleming's brother Arthur Lyman Tuckerman (1861-1894) was a promising scholar of European architecture who published 3 books in his short life. A file of 23 architectural watercolors and pencil sketches, some or all of them by A.L. Tuckerman, are from 1881 and undated. More randomly: 3 ink sketches by the artist Hen'-a-Te of Zia Pueblo in New Mexico.