1 page, 8vo, mourning stationery, marked "Private."" />
19 May 2006
HARRISON, Benjamin. Autograph letter signed ("Benj. Harrison") as former President, to H. C. Bowen, Indianapolis, 10 March 1893. 1 page, 8vo, mourning stationery, marked "Private."
"I HAVE NO INTENTION OF WRITING A BOOK": HARRISON BRUSHES OFF AN EDITOR. Just six days after leaving the White House, Harrison dismisses a suggestion he pen an autobiography: "I have no intention of writing a book," he tells Bowen. "I shall probably occupy any leisure time, before I go to work again, in making some notes of unrecorded incidents connected with my public life--but not for publication, unless something should make necessary the use of some of them which I do not anticipate. Possibly after I get rested I may write something of a less serious character--but for the present I want to feel that I have no engagements of any sort. I am much obliged for the copies of the Independent & for the very kind editorial on my administration."
As we see from lot 153, Harrison was worn down to the point of mental and physical exhaustion when he left the White House. And here he foregoes the payday of a Presidential memoir for the sake of some desperately needed rest and recuperation. Above all he was devastated by the death of his wife shortly before the expiration of his term. In time, Harrison recovered, returned to his law practice, and even remarried in 1896. And though he never did write a memoir, he submitted an astounding 800-page legal brief on behalf of the Venezuelan government in their boundary dispute with British Guiana, heard before an international arbitration panel in Paris.
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