November 1, 2016, 1:30 PM EST
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Lot 127: COOLIDGE, CALVIN. Typed Letter Signed, as Vice President, to William V. Alexander,(50 views)
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Description: "NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE LATIN QUOTATION ON THE SEAL . . . COMES FROM" COOLIDGE, CALVIN. Typed Letter Signed, as Vice President, to William V. Alexander, suggesting that he contact the State Librarian for help in learning the origin of the motto from the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of MA. 1 page, 4to, "Vice-President's Chamber" stationery; horizontal fold. (MRS) Washington, 18 October 1921
". . . No one knows where the Latin quotation on the Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts comes from. There is a little monograph written on it which I have seen, but I do not have a copy. If you care to apply to the State Librarian, State House, Boston, I think he could send it to you."
Since 1692, the motto of the Commonwealth of MA has been: "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem [By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty]." The motto may have been written by Algernon Sydney (1623-1683) around 1659.