GREAT MEN'S LETTERS SOLD AT AUCTION
Two Written by Roosevelt While He Was at Montauk Point During Spanish War.
MARK TWAIN'S SELL HIGHER
A Missive from Bryan About the Commoner Brings $3.25 - One from Carnegie Brings 40 Cents.
Two letters of President Roosevelt, written during the Spanish war, were among the interesting autographs sold by the Anderson Company in West Twenty-ninth Street yesterday. Both are addressed to John Brisben Walker, then editor of The Cosmopolitan Magazine. They are typewritten, but signed by Mr. Roosevelt. One, dated "First Reg., U. S. Vol. Cav., in camp at Montauk Point, Aug. 3, 1898, is as follows:
My Dear Mr. Walker: I should like very much to accept, but upon my word I do not know how I can, for I have had infinite requests to write, and it is going to be difficult to meet a tenth of them, and they offer me prices which I really should not have dreamed of asking myself. Very sincerely yours,
This fetched $2.25.
The other letter is dated Camp Wikoff, Montauk, L. I., Sept. 7, 1898, and is a follows:
Mr. Dear Mr. Walker: In a little while I think I shall be at leisure to have the writer of who you spoke call on me. I only wish I were able to write for you myself, but I am engaged to the hilt. Sincerely yours.
This letter sold for $2.50.
There were also three interesting and characteristic letters written by Mark Twain to Mr. Walker, the earliest of these is a four page 12mo. dated "Kaltenbentgeben bel Wien, Sept. 19, 1898," and reading in part as follows:
Dear Mr. Walker: Sure it's the illigant [sic] conscience you've got and few there be that can afford such an expensive one. Yes, the second check astonished - and gratified me. I didn't know what it was for. I merely uttered my little prayer of humble thanks and went and cashed it. Many would have thought God sent it, but I knew, by the signature, it was you. Indeed and indeed I am hoping I shall yet appear again in The Cosmopolitan. * * *
This letter brought $13.25
Another of the letters is two pages and is dated London, March 2, 1900. The letter paper bears mourning border. It refers to a request for permission to republish one of his articles. This letter sold for $6.50.
The third letter is dated Wallis Hill, London, Sept. 27, 1900, and is of similar import to the previous letter to Mr. Walker. It sold for $4.80.
William Jennings Bryan was also represented in the sale by a two-page letter to Mr. Walker. It was written in Lincoln, Neb., but bears no date. It is entirely in Bryan's handwriting. Such letters, it is said, are rare. It is as follows.
My Dear Mr. Walker: I do not know to what extent it is considered proper for a publisher to tell others of his rates, but to the extent that it is proper I would like to know about what rates are charged per 1,000 circulation. I have not taken advertisements, but shall soon. I prefer the class of advertisements found in the magazine. You will be interested to know that The Commoner has about 41,000 now, and has been increasing at over 1,000 per day for two weeks. Regards to the family. Yours truly,
W. J. BRYAN
This fetched $3.25.
Other interesting items sold as follows: Gen. U. S. Grant's order to Gen. Thomas, Dec. 8, 1864, to advance on the Confederate Gen. Hood at Nashville, $75; a letter of John Hay, Washington, D. C., Nov. 19, 1890, "I have never written a word of gossip about the White House and never shall," $6.50; a letter of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jan. 7, 1891, about his introduction to the History of Woodstock, $12.50; a letter of Rudyard Kipling, March 15, 1895, in regard to writing articles from India, $11; the signatures of President Lincoln and his Cabinet on one sheet of paper, $19; a letter of President McKinley, New York, Nov. 30, 1904, $19.25, and a typewritten letter of Andrew Carnegie to John Brisben Walker, declining to write his autobiography, 40 cents.
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