McKinley, William

1880 ALS from Ohio Congressman McKinley to wife Ida at home in Canton, reports of coming morning visit to President Hayes

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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 19 1880, to “’My old precious love”. Mckinley relates is a “rainy, disagreeable morning”, he has had his breakfast and it is now 9am. A Mrs. Poor was able to match Mrs. McKinley’s thread and a merchant will have it to McKinley tomorrow. McKinley is well, he goes to see the President (Hayes) this morning, first since McKinley’s return, then has a committee meeting. 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 Wm. McKinley, First Lady 1897-1901. Born in Canton, Ohio, she was educated, refined, charming, and strikingly attractive when she met McKinley at a picnic in 1867. They married in 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 removed it and resumed whatever he was doing as if nothing had happened. After McKinley’s Sept. 1901 assassination, Ida McKinley could not bring herself to attend his funeral. Her health eroded and she withdrew to her Canton home, cared for by her younger sister. She visited his vault at West Lawn Cemetery daily until her own death. Their’s was a true love story.

Condition: Very good, signature is just a tad blurry
Type:Letter






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