Lot 244 of 627:
Letters from Stephen Field to W.C. Ralstoln  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$480
$500 - $800

Three letters from Supreme Court Justice Stephen J. Field to William C. Ralston

Field, Stephen J.



1874 & 1875



  • Autograph letter signed by Field. 8 pages. April 14, 1875.
  • Manuscript letter, in secretarial hand, signed by Field. 4 pages. January 21, 1875
  • Manuscript letter, in secretarial hand, signed by Field. 3 pages. May 5, 1875

Stephen J. Field, once Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, writes to financier and banker William Chapman Ralston, one of the richest men in California and a prime figure in its commerce. In the first letter, Field offers Chapman a sneak peek at a Supreme Court decision affecting banks, and thanks him for money deposited into his account: "Our Court has recently rendered a very important decision on the subject of ___(?) checks, and the liability of banks for information given by it's officers with respect to the signature of the drawer and the state of his account. I send you a copy of the opinion... Your telegram informing me that twelve hundred dollars are at my credit in the California Bank, and that you have forwarded an order to your agents in New York to ____(?) the amount to me, lifted a heavy weight from my anxious head..." On January 21st, 1875, "Judge [Lorenzo] Sawyer has written to me that you and Mr. Sharon intend to construct a large building on the lot in New Montgomery Street, in the rear of the Palace Hotel; and that you would be willing to fit up in it, if desired, suitable rooms for the Courts of the United States and their officers..." On May 5th, 1875, as Ralston's finances were beginning to unravel, Field writes, "The Attorney General expressed great desire to serve his friend in San Francisco and said he would do so as far as it lay in his powers..."

Lot Amendments

Very good to fine condition.

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