Washington DC: January 29, 1868. Lengthy Autograph manuscript letter signed, 7.75" x 9.75", lightly lined bi-fold with Congressional building impressed at top right, with mailing folds, an ink spot at top center, one ink smudge word on p. 2. Bi-fold separated mostly, horizontal fold professionally reinforced, 1" small tear on p. 3 bottom horizontal fold.
Henry Wilson (born Jeremiah Jones Colbath; Feb 16, 1812 – Nov 22, 1875) was the 18th Vice President of the United States (1873–75) and a Senator from Massachusetts (1855–73). Before and during the American Civil War, he was a leading Republican, and a strong opponent of slavery. He devoted his energies to the destruction of the "Slave Power" – the faction of slave owners and their political allies which anti-slavery Americans saw as dominating the country. Originally a Whig, Wilson was a founder of the Free Soil Party in 1848. He served as the party chairman before and during the 1852 presidential election. When the Free Soil party dissolved in the mid-1850s, Wilson joined the Republican Party, which he helped found, and which was organized largely in line with the anti-slavery coalition he had nurtured in the 1840s and 1850s.
While a Senator during the American Civil War, Wilson was considered a "Radical Republican", and his experience as a militia general, organizer and commander of a Union Army regiment, and chairman of the Senate military committees enabled him to assist the Abraham Lincoln administration in the organization and oversight of the Union Army and Union Navy. Wilson successfully authored bills that outlawed slavery in Washington, D.C., and incorporated African Americans in the Union Civil War effort in 1862. After the Civil War, he supported the Radical Republican program for Reconstruction. In 1872, he was elected Vice President as the running mate of Ulysses S. Grant, the incumbent President of the United States, who was running for a second term. The Grant and Wilson ticket was successful, and Wilson served as Vice President from March 4, 1873, until his death on November 22, 1875. Wilson's effectiveness as Vice President was limited after he suffered a debilitating stroke in May 1873, and his health continued to decline until he was the victim of a fatal stroke while working in the United States Capitol in late 1875. Wilson's reputation for personal integrity and principled politics was somewhat damaged late in his Senate career by his involvement in the Crédit Mobilier scandal.
Andrew J. Aikens, (Oct 31, 1828 -Jan 22, 1909)was an American newspaper publisher and editor who was associated for more than half a century with The Evening Wisconsin, a daily newspaper published in the city of Milwaukee. Aikens is regarded as the creator of the "patent inside" preprinted sheet in 1863 — an early form of syndicated news and advertising content which helped to make the production of small weekly newspapers economically viable. At the time of his death it was estimated that some 10,000 newspapers — half of the weeklies in the United States — made use of some form of the preprinted page pioneered by Aikens. Very good. Item #1039
"I can never forget the free soil men of Massachusetts of 1848...I thank you for your kind utterances...that I should receive the nomination for the Vice-Presidency on the ticket with General Grant...and shall not be disappointed if it does to come to me...Deeming the election of vital importance to the country, more vital even than the election of 1864...Very sincerely, your friend H. Wilson.