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1 ALONZO G. SHARP 1890 ORIGINAL 'PRESSED COPY' MANUSCRIPT LETTER WRITTEN BY FAMED POSTAL INSPECTOR ALONZO SHARP REQUESTING THAT THE STORIED POSTMASTER OF ATHENS GEORGIA BE FIRED
WASHINGTON [DC] 1890 Very Good Manuscript 
On offer is a fascinating original, 'pressed copy*' U.S. Post Office department letter dated March 10, 1890. It is written to Chief Postal Inspector E.G. Rathbone by one of the U.S. Post Office's most renowned Postal Inspectors Alonzo G. Sharp. This letter is in reference to dismissing African-American Postmaster Monroe B. (Pink) Morton of Athens, Georgia for blowing the cover of undercover Postal Inspectors to other Postal Officials. (Postal Inspectors act as the Detectives and Police of the U.S. Post Office). Alonzo G. Sharp Ex-Mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, once issued City-Backed script in place of cash to the city's poor so that they could survive in a terrible economy. This act almost bankrupted the city. As a Postal Inspector for the Southern District, he captured many outlaws, crooks, forgers and swindlers who used the U.S. Mails as a vehicle for gaining wealth, including almost single-handedly bringing down the famous 'Louisiana Lottery'. He also played a major part in the capture of the 'Rube Burrow Gang'. The Rube Burrow Gang was a group of Train Robbers and Outlaws. They were second in notoriety only to the Jesse James Gang. Monroe Bowers (Pink) Morton, founder of the Morton Theatre, was born in Athens, Georgia in May 1853. "Pink," as he was known to family and friends, was the son of a white father and an African-American mother (Morton's mother was a slave). Although he had very little formal education, Morton was an ambitious man who worked at various occupations before eventually establishing himself as a building contractor. As a building contractor, Morton designed the Wilkes County (now Washington-Wilkes County) Courthouse. In addition to the courthouse, he participated in the construction of an Anniston, Alabama government building. Another well known fact was that Mr. Morton owned between twenty-five to thirty Athens area buildings, including a "$10,000 Marblestone building" on what was originally Clayton Street in downtown Athens. Morton was also the owner and publisher of the Progressive Era, the first African-American owned newspaper in Athens. The paper was established in 1914. In 1896, Morton was chosen as a state delegate to the Republican National Convention. While in attendance, he was appointed to the committee which informed William McKinley of his nomination as the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States. After McKinley's election victory, Morton was appointed as the United States Postmaster for Athens Georgia. He remained in this post for the next five years, garnering high praise from local citizens for his performance. In 1909, Morton began construction on the Morton building. It is alleged that the design specifications for the Morton Theatre were based on an architectural design from a Frank Cox of Chicago, Illinois, who had originally designed these plans for the nearby New Opera House. On May 18, 1910, the Morton building was completed. The building housed various business occupants, including the E.D. Harris Drug Store (Athens' first African-American owned drug store), Dr. Ida Johnson Hiram (the first state-licensed, African-American woman dentist) and the Morton Theatre, the first African-American built, owned and operated vaudeville theatre in America. "Pink" often acted as the Theatre's Lighting and/or Stage Director for some of the performances. As owner and operator of the building, he used the rent collected from its various business occupants to subsidize the operation of the Theatre. Monroe Bowers Morton died in 1919 at the age of 66. [*A 'Pressed Copy' was a system used in the pre-Carbon Paper Era. One would write the letter to be copied, and while the ink was still semi-dry, the letter would be placed along with a blank copy of moistened linen paper into a press. This action would make a perfect "Copy" of the original using the same ink transferred from the original letter.] 
Price: 1185.99 USD
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