War Between the States

President of the U.S. Sanitary Commission

War Date Autograph Letter Signed


(1814-82) Born in Boston, Mass., he graduated from Harvard College in 1832, and from the Harvard Divinity School in 1837. After holding a pastorate in Mobile, Alabama, 1837-38, he became pastor of the First Congregational (Unitarian) Church, (afterwards All Souls Church) in New York City, in 1839, a position he held until his death. Bellows soon earned a distinguished reputation as a pulpit orator and lecturer, and became a leading figure of the Unitarian Church in America. He edited The Christian Inquirer, a Unitarian weekly newspaper, and The Christian Examiner. When the Civil War broke out, he organized the U.S. Sanitary Commission, the leading soldiers' aid society, becoming their first and only president, serving in that position from 1861-78. Bellows was appointed as the first president of the Civil Service Reform Association; he was an organizer of The Union League Club of New York; and of the Century Association in New York City; and he helped plan with his parishioner and friend, Peter Cooper, the establishment of the Cooper Union. In 1865, he proposed and organized the national conference of Unitarian and other Christian churches, and from 1865 to 1880 was chairman of its council.

War Date Autograph Letter Signed: 5 x 8, in ink, on imprinted letter sheet.

U.S. Sanitary Commission,
New York Agency, 823 Broadway,
New York, June 15, 1863

Dear Madame,

I have today sent forward a letter to your husband designed for Gen. Banks, which consists merely in an endorsement of your declarations regarding him. Not knowing Mr. Lowner, it was impossible for me to endorse him- but I can endorse you & you can endorse him.

Truly yours,
H.W. Bellows

[to] Mrs. Lowner

Mounting remnants on the corners of the reverse. Very fine. Desirable in this war date format on imprinted U.S. Sanitary Commission stationary.

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