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President Arthur’s “Little Dwarf”

April 21, 2016

When President Garfield lay dying, Julia Sand wrote Vice-President Arthur and encouraged him to reform.  Two days after Garfield’s funeral she wrote again, asking President Arthur to provide the nation with a period of rest and stability.

During the twelve months following August 1881, Miss Sand wrote Arthur fifteen times.  In her letters she informed him she was an invalid.  Despite her youth, she gave him sharp criticism, and despite her sharp criticism, she hoped for his success.  She referred to herself as the President’s “Little Dwarf,” likening her words of advice to those of the only member of a king’s court who dares to speak the truth.

She was still wondering if the President would ever acknowledge her letters when he paid her a surprise visit in August 1882.  Arthur, Miss Sand, and a sudden influx of Miss Sand’s curious relatives chatted for almost an hour.  The President even discussed something she had mentioned in one of her letters.  Apparently, he had been paying attention all along.

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