Boutwell, George S. (ON HOLD)


1870 ALS as Grant’s 1st Treasury Secretary, sends his autograph to an admirer


Autograph ID: 6050
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1818-1905) Ardent early Massachusetts abolitionist, Governor 1851-53, 1st Commissioner of Internal Revenue 1862-63, US Rep 1863-69, Grant’s Secretary of the Treasury 1869-73, Senator 1873-77. He helped create the Republican Party and during Reconstruction championed African American suffrage and citizenship. In 1855, he was appointed Secretary of the state Board of Education, a post he held for 5 years. While US Rep, he was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the 14th & 15th Amendments. As Treasury Secretary, he made much needed reforms in the Department after the chaos of the Civil War and the impeachment trial of President Johnson. He controversially reduced the national debt as Secretary by selling Treasury gold and using greenbacks to buy up Treasury bonds, creating a shortage of much needed cash for farmers in the West and the territories. Boutwell and Grant thwarted an attempt to corner the gold market in September 1869 by releasing $4M of gold into the economy. As Senator, he successfully sponsored the Civil Rights Act of 1875. In 1877, President Hayes appointed him Commissioner to codify the Revised Statutes of the United States and in 1880 to serve as US counsel before the French and American Claims Commission. As national industrial interests desired reconciliation with the South, Boutwell fell out of favor with Republicans when he advocated in 1880 that Congress needed to take measures to destroy the Solid South. In 1900, he abandoned the Republican Party and supported Wm. J. Bryan for President.

ALS on 7 1/2 x 5 engraved “Treasury Department/Office of the Secretary” letterhead, Washington, December 29 1870, most politely sends a requested autograph to George B. Woodward of Boston.”
Type: Letter

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