2 pages on "Department of Commerce and Labor" letterhead, 10.5 x 8 inches, Washington, April 13, 1904. Written as Secretary of Commerce and Labor to powerful member of the House of Representatives H. L. Maynard, concerning plans for proposed exhibits at the upcoming Jamestown Exposition, in small part: "...Of my sympathy with the general purposes of the proposed Jamestown Exposition and of my desire to contribute to its success you have already been assured. An assemblage of vessels of the merchant marine of the United States and of other nations would undoubtedly prove an interesting and instructive feature of the Exposition. This department, if directed by Congress to do so, could contribute to the marine features...interesting exhibits by the Light-House Board, by the Coast and Geodetic Survey and by the Bureau of Fisheries..." Natural folds; small red mark and a paperclip impression in the top margin, but otherwise very good condition.
Cortelyou was the first United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor, serving from February 1903 to June 1904. Soon thereafter, he held the office of Postmaster General and Secretary of the Treasury. The Exposition was held from April 26 to December 1, 1907 and commemorated the 300th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the present day United States. Unfortunately the event was a financial failure, losing several million dollars.