SEVEN UNITED STATES SENATORS & REPRESENTATIVES SIGN LETTER TO PRESIDENT U. S. GRANT REQUESTING APPOINTMENT OF JUDGE OF THE COURT OF CLAIMS, 8 x 12, Lined Paper, March1875, 1 PG., IN FULL: "To the President, The undersigned respectfully but urgently request the appointment of Hon. Halbert E. Paine of Wisconsin to the position of Judge of the Court of Claims, as soon as a vacancy shall occur in said court." All seven signed, "H. L. Dawes", "T. Howe", "Angus Cameron", "G. W. Hazelton", "Philetus Sawyer", "J. M. Rusk", and "L. B. Caswell". In fine condition, with minor age toning, edge separation at one fold, and usual mailing folds.
Henry L. Dawes (1816-1903), a Republican, represented Massachusetts in the US House of Representatives (1857-1875) and Senate (1875-1891). As a member of the lower house, he pushed for creation of Yellowstone National Park. In the Senate, he chaired the Committee on Indian Affairs, and was the principal sponsor of the Dawes Act (1887), which replaced communal ownership of many Indian lands with private plots. After leaving the Senate, he continued this effort as head of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes ("Dawes Commission"). Today, most historians, and certainly the affected Native American peoples, regard the Dawes Act and Commission as instruments for depriving their people of land properly theirs, and leaving many landless.
Jeremiah McLain Rusk (1830-1893) was a United States military veteran and politician who served the country in a number of different positions. In 1862, Rusk joined the Union Army as a member of the 25th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Following the Civil War, he was brevetted to Brigadier General of volunteer forces. From 1871 to 1877, Rusk served as a United States Congressman in the House of Representatives. He was elected to be the 15th Governor of Wisconsin five years after his retirement from Congress and served as Governor from 1882 to 1889. President Benjamin Harrison appointed him Secretary of Agriculture in 1889, a position he served in for four years.
PHILETUS SAWYER (1816-1900) made a fortune in the lumber business, first with a saw mill and later with finished wooden furniture. He was Mayor of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, before being elected to the US House of Representatives (1865-1875). He declined to run for re-election, but later represented Wisconsin in the US Senate (1881-1893). A member of the "Stalwart" faction of the Republican Party (opposed to civil service reform), he clashed with young "progressive Republican" Congressman Robert LaFollette, who accused Sawyer of offering him a bribe. Sawyer acknowledged offering money, but said it was for LaFollette's legal services.
Timothy Otis Howe (1816-1883), a Republican, represented Wisconsin in the US Senate for three terms (1861-1879). An abolitionist, he supported stringent Reconstruction in the South and voted for the removal of President Andrew Johnson. He served on the commission which purchased the Black Hills territory from the Sioux. Defeated for re-election in 1878, he was a delegate to the International Monetary Conference in Paris in 1881, and was appointed that year as President Arthur's Postmaster General from December 1881 until his death.
Lucien Bonaparte Caswell (1827-1919) was an American politician and banker. He served seven terms in the House of Representatives as a Republican and was active in establishing the Federal appeals court system and overseeing the construction of the Library of Congress.