Lot 2William H. Taft, bold free frank "Wm. H. Taft" signature as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on "The White House, Official Business" penalty imprint envelope addressed to Edward Stern, New York City, "Washington D.C. May 15" duplex with "Del." cancel, Very Fine, ex-Stern, Kantor; with 2013 P.F. certificate.
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000.
ONE OF ONLY THREE RECORDED "FREE FRANKS" OF CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT.
The three recorded Taft "Free Franks" while Chief Justice:
1. May 15, 1928 Washington D.C. to William T. Marshall, Washington D.C., legal-size (Pictured A.S.C.C. pg. 218)
2. May 15 (1928) Washington D.C. to Edward Stern at New York City, the cover offered here.
3. Undated, Battle Creek Mich. to William T. Marshall, Washington D.C., legal-size, Rumsey Sale 61 Lot 31.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has never possessed the franking privilege, nor was Taft entitled to the frank as ex-President at this date. Taft was Commissioner and Governor General of the Philippines. Roosevelt appointed him Secretary of War, and he ran for President when Roosevelt left office. During his term, he passed anti-trust legislation, lowered the tariff, and began "dollar diplomacy", which enforced American economic interests with military might. He was defeated for a second term and taught law at Yale. In 1921, President Harding appointed him Chief Justice, where he served almost to his death.