Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 193

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(PRESIDENTS--1901.) Massive volume of letters received after the McKinley assassination. More than 500 items (including approximately 440 letters, dozens of sympathy cards, printed memorial pieces, and poems) plus approximately 100 pages of manuscript telegraph logs, stitch-bound, tipped in or laid down. Very large 4to, 4 inches thick, original 1/2 calf, quite worn, boards and portion of backstrip detached but present; moderate wear to contents. Vp, bulk early September 1901

Additional Details

These letters offered sympathy and support to President McKinley in the days after his 6 September 1901 shooting, and then to his widow Ida Saxton McKinley following his death 8 days later. The correspondents are largely regular Americans, although letters from India, Japan, Brazil, and the United Kingdom are included, as well as the nation's new territories, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Some of the writers claimed a connection to the McKinleys; Mr. and Mrs. George Cadman addressed Mrs. McKinley as "dear cousin", while Rina Kate Hale addressed her as "Aunt Ida." The Board of Managers of the New York State Exhibition at the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo--where McKinley was shot--sent a note on the day of the shooting. Three men "representing the colored citizens of Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky" sent a printed condolence and message of support to President Roosevelt. A typed note was sent from "J.M. Armstrong, Color'd", a barber and merchant of Sneads, FL.
Most of the letters are addressed directly to Mrs. McKinley, while some were sent through his personal secretary George Bruce Cortelyou (who was apparently tasked with responding and presumably retained possession). The arrangement does not seem to be chronological or alphabetical. This was presumably one volume of many, as it is marked "Miscellaneous" on a flyleaf. It is a moving testament to the outpouring of grief felt across the globe the wake of the assassination.