27th President. Typed letter signed (TLS) “Wm H. Taft”, February 2, 1902, 8×10, Washington, to Cornelius Bliss in New York, in full:
I write to thank you for the very kind invitation to attend the annual banquet of the Republican Club of New York on the 12th instant. I am sorry to say that it is impossible for me to do so. The state of my health, which will soon require another operation, together with an affliction in my family make it necessary for me to avoid at this time public entertainments. I should like nothing better than to speak to the Republicans of New York on a subject in which there seems to be a wide public interest and in which naturally I have become much absorbed, but for the reasons which I have given you this is impossible. I thank you for the very kind words in which you phrase your letter.
In very fine condition.
Cornelius Bliss had served as Secretary of the Interior under President McKinley and was very active in Republican politics.