Two-page letter signed “Benj. Harrison” AS PRESIDENT, Washington, December 14, 1891, 1st and third sheets of four-page Executive Mansion stationery, to Cornelius Bliss, in full:
I have yours of the 11th urging upon me the acceptance of the invitation of the New England Society to attend its 86th anniversary dinner on the evening of December 22nd. I regret that it will not be possible for me to accept the invitation. I am tired out. Never before have I understood what the old proverb of the last straw on the camels back meant; but I now have a full realization of it. Perhaps a little later in the winter I may be able to give more favorable attention to such invitations; but, during December, while Congress is not doing much, I must try to rest up a little. I write to you quite freely; for I really would be ashamed to talk to any one, except a friend, about rest – there is so much of that sort of complaint.
Cornelius N. Bliss was a member of McKinley’s Cabinet, serving as Secretary of the Interior.