104
104
Johnson, Andrew, as 17th President — Dr. Cornelius Boyle
A SMALL ARCHIVE OF PAPERS RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF DR. CORNELIUS BOYLE
Estimate
2,5003,500
JUMP TO LOT
104
Johnson, Andrew, as 17th President — Dr. Cornelius Boyle
A SMALL ARCHIVE OF PAPERS RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF DR. CORNELIUS BOYLE
Estimate
2,5003,500
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography

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Johnson, Andrew, as 17th President — Dr. Cornelius Boyle
A SMALL ARCHIVE OF PAPERS RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF DR. CORNELIUS BOYLE
2 letters, 2 envelopes, 2 stock certificates, 1 statement of petition. Signed by Cornelius Boyle M.D., J. Riley M.D, and Thomas Miller M.D., among others. Correspondence related to the release of Dr. Cornelius Boyle, a prominent Washington physician, who left the capital and later became a Confederate intelligence officer. In a letter to his fellow doctors, written from Warrenton, Virginia, and dated August 14th 1867, Boyle writes: "My dear Doctors, having returned from Mexico a few days ago, my brother James enclosed me your letters of the 3rd of April, which I secured today.  I cannot express my feelings in words warm enough to the Profession of Washington, who were my former associates, for their actions in my behalf, as the endorsement of Medical Associates, is the highest compliment that can be paid a professional brother."

Petition, three individual pages joined to form single page (7 1/4 x 33 1/4 in.; 190 x 845 mm). Addressed: "To his Excellency Andrew Johnson President of the United States. We the undersigned members of the Medical Profession of the District of Columbia, respectfully and earnestly request of your Excellency that the disabilities existing in regard to the return of the Doctor Cornelius Boyle, one of our former associates, be removed, or so modified that he may return to the practice of his profession in this community." The petition is then signed by some 52 physicians.


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Catalogue Note

Before the Civil War, Boyle had headed the National Rifles, a pro-Southern militia unit.  When war did break out, he set aside his professional practice and offered his services to the state of Virginia, becoming a Major in the Confederate Army. Post commander at Gordonsville, this critical location allowed for him to pass messages quickly to and from the Headquarters of the Army of Northern Virginia, and he quickly became an important Confederate agent.  Boyle was part of numerous undercover operations and communications during the Civil War. It has even been suggested that he could have been aware of or played a small role in both Thomas R. Harney's attempt to bomb the White House and John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.  After the war, Boyle's vast properties were seized by the government, and he planned to move and settle in Mexico, though this was never realized.  

At least four of the signatories to the petition directed to President Johnson (see below) attended President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre or the Petersen House after he was shot by John Wilkes Booth: Albert F. King, Charles H. L. Liebermann, Charles M. Ford,, and Jame C. Hall. Other notable petioners include Dr. Alexander Y. P. Garnett, physician to Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Biographical notices of many of the signers can be found in History of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C., 1909). 

Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography

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New York