• John Sergeant Wise: Chauncey Depew Declines Dinner Invitation; Gift Of Turkey To Be Transformed From Roost To Roaster

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    CHAUNCEY MITCHELL DEPEW (April 23, 1834 – April 5, 1928) was an American attorney, businessman and a Republican politician. He is best remembered as United States Senator from New York and his work for Cornelius Vanderbilt as an attorney and as president of the New York Central Railroad System.


    Offering two letters, the first being a single page, 8 ½ x 11, letter signed by Depew declining a dinner invitation from John S. Wise. Dated June 27, 1891, Depew writes on New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Co. Grand Central Depot.  “Answering yours of June 22d, I have been doing my best to secure an evening where I can accept your very kind invitation to dine with you, but the fact is, all the evenings which remain before I sail (July 1st) are engaged. I deeply regret that any circumstances should have lost the opportunity of passing a few hours so agreeably.”


    A second very friendly 2 ½ pp letter to Wise from Indian Harbor, CT, dated Nov. 28, 1901, begins by thanking wise for a barrel of oysters and a turkey, “which looks almost too good to eat and will soon be transformed from roost to roast.” 


    JOHN SERGEANT WISE (December 27, 1846 – May 12, 1913) was an American author, lawyer and politician in Virginia and the son of Henry Alexander Wise, the governor of Virginia, who signed John Brown’s death warrant.


    Wise served with the VMI Corps of Cadets at the Battle of New Market in the Civil War.  Ordered to guard the Cadets’ baggage train, he defied those orders to stay there and took part in the Cadets’ famous charge. After the battle, Wise accepted an officer’s commission in the Confederate States Army.


    After the war, Wise studied law at the University of Virginia. In 1867, he was admitted to the bar. He practiced law in Richmond for many years. He later served in the United States Congress from 1883-1885.


    Folds to both letters. Light toning.


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