McKinley, William

A most tender and affectionate 1880 ALS to wife Ida while Ohio Congressman

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Description:
(1843-1901) Ohio Rep. & Governor. President 1897-1901, assassinated. Spanish-American War, annexation of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Guam and American Samoa acquired in his presidency. ALS “WMcKinleyJr” on 8 x 4 ¾ "House of Representatives,/Washington, D.C.” letterhead, March 21 1880, to “My precious wife.” Writing on a “bright & beautiful” Sunday morning, his thoughts “fly to Canton & to her I love.” He writes that he is going to church, a Mrs. Austin of Cleveland and Miss Cook are at the White House, he is well, hopes she is, adding “God bless & keep you.” He expects to be home in a week and “it will not be long yet it will be very long [underscored].” In a postscript he adds “Father sends love.” With stamped and postmarked attractive House of Representatives decorative envelope, addressed in his hand to “Mrs. Ida McKinley/ Canton/Stark Co. Ohio.” Ida Saxton McKinley (1847-1907) Wife of William McKinley, First Lady of the US 1897-1901. Born in Canton, Ohio, she graduated from a finishing school in Media, Penna., and was refined, charming, and strikingly attractive when she met McKinley at a picnic in 1867. They married Jan. 25, 1871. Possessed of a fragile, nervous temperament, she broke down under the loss of her mother and 2 infant daughters within a short span of time. She developed epilepsy and became totally dependent on her husband. Her seizures at times occurred in public; she had one at McKinley's inaugural ball as Governor of Ohio. An invalid the rest of her life, she often took barbiturates, laudanum, and other sedatives for her condition. McKinley, completely devoted to his wife, took great care to accommodate her condition. In a break with tradition, he insisted Ida be seated next to him at state dinners rather than at the other end of the table. At receiving lines, she alone remained seated. Many of the social chores normally assumed by the First Lady fell to the wife of Vice President Hobart. Guests noted that whenever Mrs. McKinley was about to undergo a seizure, the President would gently place a napkin or handkerchief over her face to conceal her contorted features. When it passed, he would remove it and resume whatever he was doing as if nothing had happened. After McKinley’s assassination in Buffalo, New York in Sept. 1901, Mrs. McKinley could not bring herself to attend his funeral. Her health eroded and she withdrew to her home in Canton, cared for by her younger sister. She visited his vault at West Lawn Cemetery daily until her own death. William McKinley, Sr. (1807-1892) Father of the president, a manufacturer and pioneer of the iron industry in eastern Ohio. He was a Republican party member, and ardent advocate of a protective tariff.

Condition: Very good, slight ink stain at top left corner
Type:Letter






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