Rare Handwritten Letter: Benjamin Shapell Foundation

Though stamp collecting is less relevant in the modern world, there are many enthusiasts who continue to preserve the trade. Some collectors take a particular interest in stamps and manuscripts related to American presidents and the presidency in general.

This year marks one century since the birth of President Gerald R. Ford. During his short time as U.S. president, use of the typewriter became more widespread. As a result, handwritten letters were especially rare.

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation, which is closely related to the The Benjamin Shapell Family Manuscript Foundation, has in its possession a handwritten letter from Ford, addressing Congresswoman Edith Green of Oregon after losing the election.  The letter reads:

“First, Betty and I thank you for the thoughtful, beautiful, and very generous letter. Your words meant so much to us at a tough and traumatic time. Second, you will never know, because words are inadequate, how much I appreciated your wonderful support. Betty and I are most grateful. You are stamp collectors, Dick and you, so I am sending each of you two of the enclosed with special signatures. Thanks again- you are really a superior person and a friend whose many kindnesses I will never forget. You and your family have our love and best wishes…”


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