LENGTHY AUTOGRAPH LETTER WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY FAMOUS GETTYSBURG ORATOR EDWARD EVERETT RECOMMENDING THE MAYOR OF CHARLESTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS FOR THE OFFICE OF NAVAL STORE-KEEPER AT THE NAVY YARD
EVERETT, Edward. Autograph letter signed. Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 30, 1849. Single unlined sheet, measuring 8 by 10 inches. $450.
Exceptional autograph 1849 letter written and signed by Edward Everett, the famous orator, congressman, and president of Harvard, warmly recommending the Hon. G. Washington Warren, Mayor of Charlestown, Massachusetts, for the position of Naval Store-Keeper at the Navy Yard.
The letter, written entirely in Everett's hand and dated "Cambridge 30th April 1849," reads in full: "I have much pleasure in expressing the opinion that Hon. G. Washington Warren, now & for several years past Mayor of the City of Charlestown (Mass.) is a gentleman well qualified for the office of Naval Store-Keeper at the Navy Yard in that place. Mr. Warren is a gentleman of liberal & legal Education,—Of prosperous circumstances,—of high character in all respects, & by residence well qualified to perform the duties of the office. I should think it decidedly for the interest of the naval service to place the public property under his supervision.—It is proper to state that this certificate is written under the impression that a change will at all wants be made. I ought to add that I have already signed a testimonial in favor of another gentleman, which it is by no means my purpose to retract. My wish only is that the prudent expression of opinion as to Mr. Warren's fitness may be taken into Consideration, in case the other application should fail of success. Edward Everett." At the time this letter was written, Everett was serving as the president of Harvard. He is, of course, better known for the two-hour-long dedicatory speech he gave leading up to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (ensuring that the actual content of Everett's speech would be permanently overshadowed if not altogether forgotten). "Everett moved back and forth between political and scholarly life with a facility uncommon in American society. His impressive array of public and private offices testifies to the importance then attached to the role of the orator. It is his speeches rather than his administrative or legislative actions that constitute Everett's true body of work. These orations have seemed grandiloquent and long-winded to later generations, but they reflect well the sensibility of their time. As cultural documents of nineteenth-century America, their importance is substantial" (ANB).
Original crease, slight rubbing to edges. Near-fine condition.