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180   William H. Seward  $500 $666 $733 5 You must login to place a bid.
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#180 - William H. Seward Estimate: $6,000+

Secretary of State Seward accepts Connecticut's ratification of the 14th Amendment

LS signed “William H. Seward,” one page, 7.75 x 10, Department of State letterhead, July 9, 1866. Letter to Secretary of State of Connecticut L. E. Pease, accepting Connecticut's ratification of the 14th Amendment. In full: "I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, in which is enclosed an attended copy of a Resolution of the legislature of Connecticut, approved June 30th, 1866, ratifying the amendment to the Constitution of the United States recently proposed by Congress as a Fourteenth Article. The letter and its enclosure have been placed on file in this Department." Docketing on the reverse indicates that it was received on July 10, 1866, on behalf of L. E. Pease. In fine condition, with faint toning to the right half of the letter.

The Fourteenth Amendment is arguably one of the most consequential amendments to this day: proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the Civil War, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law. On June 16, 1866, Secretary of State William Seward transmitted the Fourteenth Amendment to the governors of the several states for its ratification. On June 30, 1866, Connecticut was the first state to ratify the amendment. It would be exactly two years after this letter, on July 9, 1868, when the Amendment was fully adopted. Documents directly relating to the amendment, especially ones from the very start of its inception, are nearly unheard of. A truly historic American letter.

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