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2020-10-28 21:45:28
HATCH, Rufus (1832-93)
Autograph Letter Signed
1873. This entrepreneur first became a successful Chicago grain broker before becoming one of the founding members of the Chicago Board of Trade, but his Wall Street speculations made him a wealthy man in New York, where his plentiful and good-humored letters published in newspapers across the country earned him wider fame and the moniker "Uncle Rufus." ALS, 4pp, 4¼" X 7", New York, NY, 1873 September 2[4?]. Addressed "To his Excellency / The President of the U.S." (Ulysses S. Grant). Fair only. Though fairly legible for the most part, the letter is heavily age toned and worn, spotted and soiled. Despite rough condition, this letter is an outstanding example of the bold and popular style of "Uncle Rufus," and was penned just a few days after the stock market crash of September 18, caused by excessive speculation in Northern railroad construction that followed the Civil War -- a trend of which Hatch was a leading proponent. This "Panic of 1873" hit Hatch himself hard; his reputed $1 million worth dropped by nearly 75%, though he supposedly made good on his $600,000 indebtedness. This panic marked the start of the "Long Depression" -- two decades of a weak, uncertain economy. Hatch here advises the president -- who he knew personally, having taken him, members of his cabinet and 300 other guests on a 2-day round-trip New York/Newport cruise aboard the new steamer owned by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company which Hatch served as director not long before -- what to do in this new crisis: "I beg leave respectfully to submit the following proposition for the financial relief of t … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA [Galena, IL, U.S.A.]
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