Secretarial letter to Eugene Semple, Governor of Washington Territory, concerning soprano Lillian Norton Gower (Lillian Nordica). Lillian NORDICA, Levi P. Morton.

Secretarial letter to Eugene Semple, Governor of Washington Territory, concerning soprano Lillian Norton Gower (Lillian Nordica)

2 pp. of a bifolium. Octavo. Dated New York, September 28, 1888. In black ink. On stationery with "Office of Morton, Bliss & Co. New York, 188[...]" printed at head.

"Will you allow me to present Mrs. Lillian Norton Gower, who visits your Territory upon some matters of business connected with her late husband's estate? I beg leave to bespeak for Mrs. Gower any good offices which you can consistently render and remain very respectfully yours."

Creased at folds; some staining; remnants of former mount to verso of second leaf.

Together with an original lithographic campaign item, ca. 153 x 69 mm., with portraits of Benjamin Harrison and Levi P. Morton surrounded by a bald eagle, an American flag, and banners which read "For President Benjamin Harrison of Indiana For Vice President Levi P. Morton of New York." With the name of the lithographer, Bufford Co., printed to lower edge. Some wear; minor annotations and remnants of adhesive to verso.

Nordica, née Norton, was an American soprano who frequently sang at Drury Lane, Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera. "After extensive coaching by Cosima Wagner, she sang Elsa in the first production of Lohengrin at Bayreuth in 1894. At the height of her Metropolitan Opera career (1893–1907) she was known primarily as a Wagnerian... Nordica had a rich voice and a remarkable coloratura range. She knew 40 operatic roles in English, Italian, German, French and Russian. A resolute and shrewd – but also generally good-natured – individual, she owed her stature as a great Wagnerian soprano to hard work, constant study and determination. Late in her career she became a strong proponent of opera in English; she was also an ardent suffragist and had an unfulfilled dream of establishing a Bayreuth-like American Institute for Music." Katherine K. Preston in Grove Music Online.

Nordica married Frederick Gower in 1882. Three years later, in the midst of their divorce proceedings, Gower disappeared on an experimental balloon flight across the English channel, and was never seen again. Kate Kennedy in More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Maine Women, pp. 68-69.

Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) was the twenty-second Vice President of the United States (1889-1893) under President Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901). He later served as the thirty-first Governor of New York (1895-1896).

Eugene Semple (1840-1908) was the Governor of Washington Territory from 1887 until 1889.

Item #23675

Price: $125.00  other currencies

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