A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party. Winston S. Churchill.
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party
A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party

A "Confidential" 5 April 1904 holograph letter on Blenheim Palace stationery from a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill to Manchester Free Trade League Chairman Tom Garnett, scheming to secure Churchill re-election to Parliament as he prepared to defect from the Conservative Party

Blenheim Palace: 1904. This 5 April 1904 holograph letter by a 29-year-old Winston S. Churchill is remarkable in multiple respects – for revealing behind-the-scenes political scheming that preceded his impending defection from the Conservative Party, for showing him lining up the Parliamentary seat he would not win as a Liberal for another nineteen months, for being explicitly designated “Confidential” for the reasons above, and for being handwritten by Churchill on Blenheim Palace stationery – the ancestral home of his father’s family, where Winston was born.  Churchill’s letter is addressed to Tom Garnett, Chairman of the Free Trade League of Manchester, handwritten on an 8 x 10.125 inch (20.3 x 25.7 cm) sheet folded into four panels. Churchill’s 179 words in 49 lines are inked in black on all four panels, prominently marked “Confidential.” and dated “5 Ap 1904”. The letter reads in full: “Dear Mr. Garnett, The proposal was made to me by Mr. Lamb, the President of the Liberal Association of the Central Division, & was to the effect that I should be nominated by the Free Trade League as a non-party Free Trade candidate; but that the Liberal party in the division should view my candidature with favour, declare at first that they would not oppose me, & in the end bring the whole resources of their organization to my assistance. Mr Lamb was also in a position to say that no Labour opposition would be forthcoming. I thought this suggestion well worth consideration & have in consequence taken no further steps to press matters in regard to Central Sheffield or Central Birmingham, both of wh places have tendered me similar non-party invitations. Will you also consider whether in the event of my challenge to the Oldham Conservative Association resulting in a by election after the Easter recess, the Free Trade League, in the absence of any other Free Trade candidate, would support my candidature. Yours sincerely, Winston S. Churchill”  This letter was previously part of the Malcolm S. Forbes, Jr. collection. It is in fine condition, housed in an archival mylar sleeve within a crimson cloth folder. In April 1904, Churchill was beginning a dynamic chapter in his political career that saw him abandon his father’s party, champion progressive causes, and be branded a traitor to his class.  Free trade was a key issue on which he opposed Conservative Party leadership, helping trigger his impending defection.  Tom Garnett’s Manchester is where Churchill would be first elected as a Liberal.  A 24 March 1904 publication of the Manchester Liberal Federation lamented the death of the Liberal candidate for North-West Manchester and noted that “it is hoped that in the immediate future another name may be put before the North-West Division.”  Samuel Lamb, President of the Liberal Association of the Central Division, had already contacted Churchill about standing for the NW Manchester seat as a Free Trade candidate.  In this letter to Garnett, Chairman of the Free Trade League of Manchester, Churchill sought to ensure that he would find firm footing in NW Manchester.  At the inaugural meeting of Garnett’s Free Trade League on 19 February, Churchill had given a speech that The Times called “one of the most powerful and brilliant he has made”.  Nevertheless, Churchill needed to be certain that the League - one of the most important local Free Trade organizations - would stand behind him.  At the same time he was scheming for Manchester, Churchill bought time with his current constituency.  On 3 April 1904 Churchill wrote to the Tory Chairman at Oldham, offering to resign and let Oldham hold a by-election.  This was part of what Churchill’s son and first biographer called “a crafty game”.  (Young Statesman, p.78)  The Conservatives knew they would lose; they declined Churchill’s resignation, leaving him secure in Oldham until the General Election.  Churchill crossed the aisle on 31 May 1904.  On 13 January 1906, he decisively won the seat in North-West Manchester. Item #004656

Price: $14,500.00

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