Lot 535

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(1822 - 1885) Eighteenth President of the United States and Union lieutenant general. Very rare, fine content A.L.S. as President, 2pp. 8vo., on lined Executive Mansion letterhead, Washington, Jan. 17, 1873, to John Hoey, the president of Adams Express. Grant writes on his stock market speculations, in part: "...I am very much obliged to Mr. Dinsmore for his kindness in proposing to wait for the payment on the stock he purchased from me until I have the means without borrowing from others, and to you for preparing to hold for me some more until I can pay for it. The amount I spoke of...was 120 shares more, which would, make my whole interest in Adam's Co. four hundred shares or one hundred shares for each of my children. Out of my present pay I never could pay for a single share, nor could I soon pay what I now owe Mr. D. out of that and my private income. But I expect within the next four months to sell from thirty to fifty thousand dollars' worth of property and all I realize in this way I want to invest in something that will give me an income...". Mr. Dinsmore was a top executive at Adams Express, and along with Hoey, was active in helping the President with his stock holdings. Apparently once Grant stepped down from his position, however, aid from wealthy businessmen like Hoey and Dinsmore dried up, and he was left to fend for himself. Grant's financial state later in life is well-known: lacking a Presidential pension or other intangible revenue from that position, Grant was left in a precarious state. This situation prompted him to make what would be a fatal decision to invest the majority of his savings into a real estate financial firm that went bust. He began writing his war memoirs to support his family and help pay off the staggering $150,000 debt accrued with the deal. Text is light on first page, but dark and clear on verso. With the original holograph cover bearing a free frank by OLIVER O. BABCOCK. A couple of minor splits at margin, else very good condition, and certainly an ironic, if not prophetic, peek into the president's fiduciary inclinations.

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January 31, 2013 11:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

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