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1919 Winston Churchill ALS Regarding Ireland
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $822.50
One-page handwritten letter, dated November 26, 1919, signed by Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British statesman, soldier, and author. Churchill, in his capacity as Secretary of State for War, writes to C. G. S. Home Forces and authorizes the dispatch of an aide to Dublin. The brief missive, penned on a lined sheet, reads in full: "Col. Isham is authorized to proceed to Dublin under instructions from the Home Secretary. Please take the necessary steps." It is signed "WCS" in black fountain pen. Both the text and signature are boldly penned and grade "9/10." Ralph H. Isham, C.B.E., was an American who became a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1917, serving in France, and a Lieutenant-Colonel on the British Staff in 1918. Ireland was on the verge of civil war in 1919 and the country's social unrest weighed heavily on the British Government. On December 23, 1920, just one year after the writing of this letter, the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act, which divided the country of Ireland into two territories: Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland. Churchill was actively involved in Ireland's future. From 1921 to 1922 he served as Colonial Secretary, during which time he helped negotiate the treaty that created the Irish Free State (The Republic of Ireland was known as the Irish Free State from 1922 until 1937, and Eire from 1937 to 1949). The letter (5 x 5 inches) bears a number of horizontal and vertical fold lines and is otherwise in Excellent condition. It has been handsomely matted and framed together with small photographic print of Churchill inspecting the troops to total dimensions of 10.5 x 16.5 inches. Ideally, this piece is accompanied by a related letter of correspondence (affixed to the reverse of the frame) which verifies the fact that it was at one time in the personal possession of Col. Isham himself. The letter, dated July 26, 1951, is from the manager of the Midland Bank Limited in London, England, and is addressed to Isham, who was living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at the time: "Dear Sir, We enclose herewith handwritten note by Mr. Winston Churchill which we held on your behalf, and shall be pleased to receive your acknowledgment on the attached duplicate of this letter. We regret that this document was originally sent to 114 East 52nd Street, New York and returned to us by the Postal Authorities. We ask you to accept our apologies for an inconvenience caused. There are no other private papers held by us on your behalf." Also attached to the reverse of the frame is a description of the Churchill letter printed on Kenneth Rendell's stationery, indicating that the legendary manuscript dealer once personally owned and sold this piece. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $822.50
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