ROBERT DALE OWEN HANDWRITTEN LETTER SIGNED BY FAMOUS AMERICAN SOCIAL REFORMER AND ANTI-SLAVE POLITICIAN, 3 pages, 8 x 10, New York, March 8, 1867, concerning a legal matter, In Part: "My dear Sir: Having occasion to see W. Naaes on business of my own yesterday, I asked him if suit had been commenced, on your behalf, in the Lombero matter...would be worth to you $30,000 to $50,000 if vigorously pressed...they cannot go on waiting an indefinite time...It is far better for you to make any reasonable sacrifice to get $500 than to delay...prosecuting the suit...Faithfully yr, Robert Dale Owen." Two verticle fold lines and minor soiling, otherwise in fine condition.
Robert Dale Owen (1801-1877) was a Scottish-born American social reformer who was a longtime exponent in the United States of the socilist doctrines of his father, Robert Owen, who he aided in the founding of New Harmony as a utopian community in Indiana. He was also a Democratic Congressman and instrumental in the legislation for the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. Although the New Harmony social experiment was an economic failure, the community made some important contributions to American society. It became known as a center for advances in education and scientific research including the first free library, a civic drama club and a public school system open to men and women. During the Civil War he wrote an open letter to President Lincoln urging him to end slavery on moral grounds. A few days later the Emancipation Proclamation was read to the Cabinet. In March 1865, he submitted a radical initial draft of the Fourteenth Amendment that was eventually modified into the final draft. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was one of the Reconstrution Amendments and addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. He is buried in New Harmony, Indiana.
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