2156
2156
James A. Garfield
PARTIALLY LITHOGRAPHED DOCUMENT SIGNED ("JAMES A. GARFIELD") AS TWENTIETH PRESIDENT, BEING AN ORDER TO SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES G. BLAINE TO AFFIX THE SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES
Estimation
8 00012 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT
2156
James A. Garfield
PARTIALLY LITHOGRAPHED DOCUMENT SIGNED ("JAMES A. GARFIELD") AS TWENTIETH PRESIDENT, BEING AN ORDER TO SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES G. BLAINE TO AFFIX THE SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES
Estimation
8 00012 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

|
New York

James A. Garfield
PARTIALLY LITHOGRAPHED DOCUMENT SIGNED ("JAMES A. GARFIELD") AS TWENTIETH PRESIDENT, BEING AN ORDER TO SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES G. BLAINE TO AFFIX THE SEAL OF THE UNITED STATES
One page (10 x 8 in.; 253 x 204 mm) on a bifolium of blue wove paper, accomplished in a clerical hand, Washington, 9 May 1881, pencilled docket on verso; mounting remnant on verso of second leaf.
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Description

A fine example of Garfield's full signature as President, which, like Lincoln, he employed only on official documents. The present document authorizes Blaine "to cause the Seal of the United States to be affixed to my ratification of a treaty relating to Chinese immigration into the U.S. signed at Peking Nov. 17, 1880."

During the California Gold Rush and the construction of the transcontinental railroad, large numbers of Chinese emigrated to America. After being driven from the mines, most settled in Chinatowns in places like San Francisco, finding jobs mostly as low-pay laborers. In 1868, the Burlingame Treaty established formal friendly relations between the two nations, giving China most favored nation status and encouraging immigration from China. But after the Civil War, anti-Chinese animosity grew as the American economy declined. In 1879, Congress prohibited ships from bringing more than fifteen Chinese passengers in a single voyage. President Rutherford B. Hayes vetoed it as a violation of the Burlingame Treaty, but sent a delegation to China, led by James B. Angell, to negotiate a new treaty that included immigration restrictions.

The two nations signed the Angell Treaty on November 17, 1880, in Peking (now Beijing). The treaty temporarily suspended immigration of Chinese laborers, while allowing white-collar professionals. A concurrent treaty also negotiated by the Angell commission and China limited trade in opium. The U.S. Senate advised ratification of the Angell Treaty on May 5, 1881, and new President James A. Garfield signed it on May 9. This order authorized and directed Secretary of State James G. Blaine to affix the seal of the United States to the treaty, making it official. Presidential documents issued by Garfield are quite rare, given his brief time in office. In fact, the Treaty wasn’t publicly proclaimed until after his assassination.

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act extended the ban on the immigration of Chinese laborers for another ten years. In 1892, the Geary Act extended Chinese exclusion for another ten years, and in 1902, it became "permanent."

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

|
New York