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[[embossed circle with "CHARLES L. FREER" in left upper corner of sheet-- perhaps stamped]]

January 17th, 1904

Dear Col. Hecker:--

[[strikethrough]]Nothing especially new here has occurred since your absence, excepting, perhaps, the conviction and sentence of Coroner Hoffman, recently elected sheriff, to four years imprisonment at Jackson.

Office matters are going on quietly and as usual. [[/strikethrough]]

My visit to Washington proved unexpectedly interesting.  The dinner at Alger's was enjoyable, even for affairs of that sort.  The architectural dinner given the second night of my stay in Washington was really worth the journey.  I think it is safe to say that there has never been gathered together in this country at any one dinner an equal number of distinguished gentlemen from the various walks of life.   The room itself was decorated in the most simple and classical way that I have thus far seen, the arrangement being in white and green: the notes of other colours consisted of American flags and American Beauty roses.  The speeches were carefully prepared, and the most of them seemed to me to be exceptionally pertinent.  The most perfect speech of the evening was that of Elihu Root; the others of unusual merit were about in the following order:-

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