Autograph letter signed ("T.S. King"), to R.R. Clarke, regarding a propsed speaking engagement. Thomas Starr King.

Autograph letter signed ("T.S. King"), to R.R. Clarke, regarding a propsed speaking engagement.

Boston: October 11, 1852.

[1]p. on a folded octavo sheet, docketed on the verso of the conjugate leaf. Two horizontal folds. Fine. Item #248821

A brief note from famed orator Thomas Starr King, who responds to a request for a speaking engagement by explaining the demands on his schedule and alluding to his poor health.  King would go on to greatest fame in California, where he lectured tirelessly in support of Union during the Civil War, and was credited by many with helping to keep California in the Union.
The letter reads: "Dear Sir, I have made so many engagements already to lecture that I could not certainly lecture for you until February, & I do not like to promise possibly even then, for my health is not firm & I may find it impossible to fulfill more appointments than I have on hand.  If I can go the latter part of the season I will cheerfully.  You can write again if you choose; meantime I remain truly yours, T.S. King.

Thomas Starr King (1824-1864) was a Unitarian minister from Boston who headed the First Unitarian Church of San Francisco for the four years before his death at age thirty-nine.  At age twenty he became pastor of a Universalist church in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and gained great renown for his oratory.  King later moved to the Hollis Street Church in Boston and then went to California in 1860.  "He soon came to stand in the minds of Californians as the very symbol of religion, culture, and the greater scene beyond the Far West...In four short years King became California's man for all seasons, a hero and prophet of the Pacific commonwealth" - Starr.  King was instrumental in maintaining pro-Union sentiment in California, arguing that the Union was one and indivisible, and ordained by God, and that California's relationship with it was insoluble.  He lectured relentlessly, but was also of frail health, and died from diphtheria at thirty-nine.

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