Confederate military officer and politician (1818–1902) who replaced J. E. B. Stuart as Lee’s Chief of Cavalry following Stuart’s death on the battlefield. Hampton later served as governor and senator from South Carolina. ALS, one page, lightly-lined, 8 x 10, State Democratic Executive Committee letterhead, October 17, 1876. Letter to I. J. Robertson. In full: “A great pressure of business has kept me from replying sooner to your letter & I now enclose the Resolution adopted by the De, Ex. Com, in reference to the matter you brought to my attention. I have only to say that this Resolution meets my approval & will govern my action should I be elected Governor of this State.” Intersecting folds, one through a single letter of signature, and scattered light toning and soiling over portions of text and signature, otherwise fine condition.
At the time of this letter, Hampton was embroiled in the 1876 South Carolina gubernatorial race, the most hotly contested and bloodiest in state history. He was the first southern gubernatorial candidate to run opposing Reconstruction, and his supporters, known as Red Shirts, were notorious for their violent tactics. Both parties claimed victory after the election in November, and for over six months two legislatures operated in the state, each claiming to be legitimate. The South Carolina Supreme Court eventually named Hampton the winner and the “Savior of South Carolina” served as governor until 1879. A fine letter dating from one of the most important elections in South Carolina’s history. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.