SIGNATURE OF MARK HANNA, UNION SOLDIER, INDUSTRIALIST & U.S. SENATOR FROM OHIO

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Item Code: 897-98

This clipped signature comes framed and matted. Oak frame measures 6 ¼” x 8 ¼”.

Marcus Alonzo "Mark" Hanna (September 24, 1837 – February 15, 1904) was an American businessman and Republican politician, who served as a United States Senator from Ohio. A friend and political ally of President William McKinley, Hanna used his wealth and business skills to successfully manage McKinley's presidential campaigns in 1896 and 1900.

Hanna was born in New Lisbon (today Lisbon), Ohio, in 1837. His family moved to the growing city of Cleveland in his teenage years, where he attended high school with John D. Rockefeller. He was expelled from college, and entered the family mercantile business. He served briefly during the American Civil War. With an ill father and many business responsibilities, Mark Hanna could not be spared by his family to join the Union Army, hiring a substitute to enlist in his place. Instead, he became a member of the Perry Light Infantry, a regiment of National Guard troops consisting mostly of young Cleveland business men. In 1864, his regiment was briefly mustered into active service as the 150th Ohio Infantry and sent to be garrison troops at Fort Stevens, part of Washington, D.C.'s defenses. During the time the Perry Light Infantry was in service, it saw brief combat action as Confederate General Jubal Early feigned an attack on Washington. However, Hanna, who had been commissioned a second lieutenant, was absent during that time, having been sent to escort the body of a deceased soldier back to Ohio. The regiment was mustered out in August 1864. After the war, Hanna was elected a companion of the Ohio Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States - a military society of officers of the Union armed forces and their descendants.

He married Charlotte Rhodes; her father, Daniel Rhodes, took Hanna into his business after the war. Hanna was soon a partner in the firm, which grew to have interests in many areas, especially coal and iron. He was a millionaire by his 40th birthday, and turned his attention to politics.

Despite Hanna's efforts on his behalf, Ohio Senator John Sherman failed to gain the Republican nomination for president in 1884 and 1888. With Sherman becoming too old to be considered a contender, Hanna worked to elect McKinley. In 1895, Hanna left his business career to devote himself full-time to McKinley's campaign for president. Hanna paid all expenses to get McKinley the nomination the following year, although he was in any event the frontrunner. The Democrats nominated former Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan, who ran on a bimetallism, or "Free Silver", platform. Hanna's fundraising broke records, and once initial public enthusiasm for Bryan and his program subsided, McKinley was comfortably elected.

Declining a Cabinet position, Hanna secured appointment as senator from Ohio after Sherman was made Secretary of State; he was re-elected by the Ohio General Assembly in 1898 and 1904. After McKinley's assassination in 1901, Senator Hanna worked for the building of a canal in Panama, rather than elsewhere in Central America, as had previously been proposed. He died in 1904, and is remembered for his role in McKinley's election, thanks to savage cartoons by such illustrators as Homer Davenport, who lampooned him as McKinley's political master.  [SM]

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