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1875 Senator Joseph E. Hawley Signed Telegram To Secretary of State Hamilton Fish Concerning William Buckingham Funeral

This autograph letter signed provides a nice connection between Civil War General Joseph E. Hawley (later Governor, Representative and U. S. Senator), Civil War Governor William A. Buckingham (later U. S. Senator) and President Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish.  Hawley who wrote and signed the telegram sends his regrets to Secretary of State Fish who had apparently invited Hawley to dinner. Hawley was unable to attend the dinner because William A. Buckingham, then a United States Senator, had just died 3 days earlier and Hawley would be traveling to or attending his funeral in Connecticut at the time of the scheduled dinner with Fish.

               Joseph R. Hawley                                   Hamilton Fish                                  William A. Buckingham

Joseph R. Hawley was one of the founders of the Republican Party in Connecticut and the editor of the Hartford Evening News in 1857. When the Civil War opened in 1861and President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers, Hawley was reportedly the first to volunteer. He started the war as a captain, saw action, and at the war's end was brevetted a Major General. After leaving the army in 1866 he was elected Governor of Connecticut. While he was Governor he bought the Hartford Courant, which was consolidated with his Evening News, and he was publisher, and sometime editorial writer, of the Courant until his death in 1905. In 1868 he was a delegate and Chairman of the Republican National Convention which nominated Ulysses S. Grant as President. He was a Congressman from Connecticut off and on between 1872 and 1881. During that period, from 1873-76 he was on the United States Centennial Commission and served as its Chairman in the event which culminated in the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.  From 1881 through 1905 he represented Connecticut in the United States Senate.

Hamilton Fish was Governor of New York (1849-51) and United States Senator (1851-57) before being chosen by President Ulysses S. Grant to be his Secretary of State in 1869, a position in which he served until 1877.  During the Civil War he was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as one of the board of commissioners for the relief and exchange of Union prisoners of war in the South.

For information on William A. Buckingham, see the description accompanying his 1865 autograph.

Below is the autograph telegram signed by Hawley that was sent to Fish about Buckingham's funeral.

The 7 3/4 x 5 1/2" document shown above is a printed telegram form with "DEPARTMENTAL TELEGRAPH LINES" at the top and below that it says the the telegraph line used connects "the House of Representatives with all the Executive Department and the Government Printing Office."  Hawley who was a Congressman at the time pens the entire message to Fish and signs it.  An enlarged view of Hawley's signature is below.

A wonderful hand signed document with multiple associations to the Civil War, American and Connecticut history.

Price: $100

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