Exceedingly rare autographed letter signed, 8vo, one page, written as Secretary of War, Washington, December 27, 1855, (accompanied by original transmittal envelope), to socialite and future Confederate super-spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow, in full: "My Dear Madam, I regret that it will not be in my power to meet you this evening in the midst of the many friends who always when permitted gather around you. With many thanks for your kind remembrance, I am truly your friend. Jefferson Davis, 27th Dec. 1855, Mrs. R. O'N Greenhow." [Docket on verso in unknown hand] *Unbeknownst to many scholars is the fact that Greenhow and Davis were in fact very close friends prior to her recruitment as a spy for the Confederacy in 1861. One contemporary newspaper account states, "She wept openly in the Senate Gallery on January 21, 1861 when Jefferson Davis, one of her most influential friends, said farewell to the Senate." It was the same Jefferson Davis who openly credited Greenhow with providing Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard with the information that resulted in the Union rout at First Bull Run. Fine condition.
Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce, United States Senator, and President of the Confederate States of America (1861 - 1865).