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Item 12 - James A. Garfield Catalog 563 (Aug 2019)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $500.00
Sold Price: $3,525.00 (includes buyer's premium)


Rare partly-printed DS as president, one page, 8 x 10, June 6, 1881. Extremely rare document issued from the Executive Mansion, suspending John T. Gibson from his postmaster position. In full: "You are hereby suspended from the office of Postmaster at Huntington, in the County of Cabell and State of West Virginia, in accordance with the terms of the 1768th section of the Revised Statutes of the United States." Beautifully signed at the conclusion in bold black ink by President Garfield. In very good to fine condition, with splitting along horizontal folds reinforced with old tape on the reverse, a few small spots of foxing, and partial mirroring of Garfield's signature from premature folding.

The statute cited allowed the president to suspend any civil officer, with the exception of judges, while Congress was in recess. A special session of the 47th US Congress had ended on May 20 and Garfield was shot on July 2, leaving him just over a month to utilize this ability. When he took office, the Post Office Department was the largest department in the federal government and highly prone to corruption—possibly the reason behind Gibson's termination, which the Senate Journal simply describes as 'for cause.' Because of Garfield's brief tenure in the White House his presidential documents are exceedingly scarce, with this particular example elevated by its prominently penned signature.

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