January 26th Rare Autograph & Book Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/26/2023

Rare ALS signed “G. A. Custer, Lt. Col. 7th Cav., Bvt. Maj. Gnl.,” four pages on two sheets, 7.75 x 9.75, December 26, 1866. Addressed from Fort Riley, Kansas, a handwritten letter to Republican Senator Jacob M. Howard of Michigan, in part: "Enclosed you will find copies of correspondence with Gen. Alger and Col. McReynolds which I hope you will read carefully and judge accordingly. I assure you I have been misjudged although I will admit I have given past grounds. I have never been the supporter of Mr. Johnson’s policy as represented on the country I have always condemned his…exercise of the pardoning power as well as the conferring of political power upon leading rebels. I attended the Phil. Convention not to support Mr. Johnson or his policy, but with the hope that there would be amassed a plan upon which Congress & the President might unite. As soon as I saw the rises made of the movement by Copperheads and peace men who hoped thereby to regain their former power I turned my back upon the movement and in the only section when I endeavored to exercise an influence, my own dist., I was decided and outspoken against the Johnson Candidacy and supported Hon. F. C…, and as I believe increased the latter’s majority by no inconsiderable number of votes. It has been stated that the President gave me my appointment as Lt. Col. in the regular army. This is an error. I am indebted to Andrew Johnson for nothing. My appointment was decided upon by the Sec. of War and Genl. Grant without the knowledge or advice of the President and before I had taken any part in political affairs. This can be verified by the Sec. of War. I am opposed to the idea of general amnesty, believing amnesty should never be granted to the leaders, so far as political power is concerned. I would grant the right of suffrage to the colored men but would prefer the method of impartial suffrage rather than universal suffrage. I trust you will give this and accompanying papers your favorable consideration and believing me.” In fine condition, with pin holes to upper left corner.

In May 1866, Custer returned to Monroe, Michigan, where he considered running for Congress. A conservative Democrat and protégé of Maj. Gen. George McClellan, Custer took part in public discussion over the treatment of the American South in the aftermath of the Civil War, and, as stated in this letter, “attended the Phil. Convention,” the 1866 National Union Convention, which, despite Custer’s personal agenda, was an attempt to galvanize support for President Andrew Johnson and his lenient pro-South Reconstruction policies.

Custer’s political entrance included a seat aboard Johnson’s disastrous Swing Around the Circle speaking campaign between August 27 and September 15, 1866, which also featured other Civil War heroes such as David Farragut and Ulysses S. Grant, the latter of which Custer affirms was the chief cause for his commission of Lieutenant colonel (7th Cavalry) on July 28, 1866—and not Johnson, of whom Custer tersely states he is indebted to “for nothing.”

Custer distanced himself from President Johnson after the Republicans dominated the 1866 United States elections, victories which led to the incorporation of impartial or Negro suffrage in the Reconstruction Acts, of which Custer, here, says he was in favor. However, in the end, it was Custer's partisan views and consistent backing of Johnson—and opposing of Grant—that ended his political career before it ever began. On June 29, 1869, Custer applied through Gen. William T. Sherman to President Grant for an appointment as Commandant of West Point. Grant, no longer a proponent of the 'Boy General,' denied the appointment and kept Custer at distance amongst the Indians in the politically remote Great Plains.

With One of a Kind Collectibles LOA.

George A. Custer Autograph Letter Signed on Andrew Johnson and SuffrageGeorge A. Custer Autograph Letter Signed on Andrew Johnson and SuffrageGeorge A. Custer Autograph Letter Signed on Andrew Johnson and SuffrageGeorge A. Custer Autograph Letter Signed on Andrew Johnson and Suffrage
George A. Custer Autograph Letter Signed on Andrew Johnson and Suffrage
George A. Custer Autograph Letter Signed on Andrew Johnson and Suffrage
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100.00
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 28
Auction closed on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

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