SKU: A01259 Category:


Description: On May 10, 1889, Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman penned this chatty letter to his friend, Margaret Lee Middleton. He writes that he and his daughter, Lizzie have “just returned from a dinner party at Mr. Arnold’s on 12th St. where we met old and valued friends” including “Ex Senator Henderson & wife of St. Louis”. Sherman is most likely referring to John B. Henderson (1826-1913) the US Senator from Missouri who was a co-author of the Thirteenth Amendment, the amendment that abolished slavery. Sherman then goes on to say that though Saturday is his “usual Club night”, he “will forgo that and call at no. 33. W 19th at or about 7:30”. Margaret Middleton lived at 33 West 19th St. in New York City, as is evidenced by the included original transmittal envelope.

William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) served in the US military for a number of years before resigning to spend more than a decade as a banker, businessman, and superintendent of a military academy. He rejoined the military for the US Civil War, becoming one of its most famous generals for leading Union troops across the south in “scorched earth” campaigns. After the War, he continued his military career and was promoted to General of the Army, his troops primarily fighting Native Americans along the wagon trails and railroads. In retirement, he was a constant presence at New York’s theatres, lectures, and galleries, and also occasionally thrilled audiences at speaking engagements.

Margaret Lee Middleton (1848-1921) was a Manhattan socialite, who was a skilled and respected genealogist and librarian for many years. She also dedicated a portion of her time to work with charitable organizations. Like Sherman, she was an aficionado of theatre and the arts. Although she was nearly three decades younger than Sherman, the two struck up a close relationship in the 1880s based on their common interests, and often attended events together. It seems they may have been introduced by mutual friend, Mary Thompson Hunt, whose 1884 death brought them closer.

This autograph letter signed is written on the first two pages of a folded sheet of ruled writing paper, measuring approximately 9.25″ x 11″ when unfolded. Item #A01259

Condition: Fold lines, some offsetting of ink to blank third page, otherwise very good condition.