Lot 189

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William Dodge "Merchant Prince" of Wallstreet Rare ALS

A letter from industrialist William E. Dodge (1805-1883) on Phelps, Dodge & Co. stationary. ALS, 2pp of a bifolium, measuring 8.25" x 10.5", dated February 21, 1868, New York. Signed "W. E. Dodge" at the conclusion and addressed to one J. C. Newkirk, Esq., Dodge lays out a plan for dealing with a difficult client in order to receive money which he is due. Exhibits darkened edge toning, with uneven margins along right side edge and flattened creasing throughout. Good condition overall, featuring a large and bold signature. Scarce!

In full, with syntax unchanged:

"Your esteem'd favr of the 25 ult and 18 came duly hand the former enclosing memo obtained from Magoun of lots sold & of those remaining, the latter en check for 200$ on... of payments from Renlack [?] & Franklin. I am perfectly astonished at the obstinacy of the man and cannot understand him at all. I find by looking in my papers that his last settlement was in 1858… With these and the map you can tell pretty well how the matter of the lots stand. But as to what he has rcd I do not see as we can get at it in any other way but by trying to find the parties as to what they have paid, he has no doubt rcd some 4000$ that he has never paid over. Perhaps if you should say if he will now render a full… that I will take his notes pay at such times as he may desire for the balance due me he may come to terms. Suppose you try him one more with his letters in your hands and the map. I should like with the opening spring to close out what is left for what it can be sold for & will be glad if you will either take it in hand or employ some real estate man to do it. Please get the map corrected by Magoun. (This he will not reprise. I am sure.) and let it be keep carefully as I have no other."

William Earl Dodge was an American businessman, politician, and activist. Together with his in-laws, he co-owned the New York-based firm Phelps, Dodge, & Co., which was active in importing metals, exporting cotton and lumber, and became one of the largest companies to mine and manufacture various ores. Indeed, Dodge was often referred to as one of the "Merchant Princes" of Wall Street in the years leading up to the American Civil War. In addition to his business pursuits, Dodge also served one year in Congress (1866-67), became a founding member of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), and acted as President of the National Temperance Society for nearly twenty years. As an activist, he took a strong interest in Native American policy reform and, in 1868, co-founded the United States Indian Commission.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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February 21, 2024 10:30 AM EST
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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000