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ABRAHAM LINCOLN. The Ultimate Lincoln Collection.
Beginning with the chair in which Lincoln was sitting when he received the telegram that he had won the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination, the collection contains more than 50 items, including 12 documents handwritten and/or signed by Lincoln, and others by Frederick Douglass, William T. Sherman, and Ulysses S. Grant, along with rare books, artifacts, images, and imprints.
We offer a unique opportunity for collectors with a passion for history—one of the most comprehensive collections of original Lincolniana assembled in recent years. This rich offering reflects the span of Lincoln’s adult life from prairie lawyer, to the Presidency, to immortality in the American pantheon.
Free the Slaves, a U.S.-based international charity, will receive 10% of the winning bid to be used to support their campaigns to end modern-day slavery. (This portion of the price is tax-deductible.)
The Lincoln Nomination Chair
Bentwood hickory; painted black, .
According to sources at the time, Lincoln was sitting in this chair when he received the news he had been nominated as the Republican candidate for president. This was his favorite seat at the Illinois State Journal newspaper office where he frequently went to catch up on news (coming in by telegraph) and discuss local and national affairs. Our provenance file traces the chair’s history all the way back to the Journal’s office in 1860.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates—First Edition
Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas...
Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster, and Co., 1860, first edition, first state.
Even though Lincoln ultimately lost this Senatorial contest, his performance catapulted him to national prominence as he demonstrated the problems slavery presented for the nation.
Lincoln as Baseball Champ in The National Game by Currier and Ives
The National Game. Three ‘Outs’ and One ‘Run.’ Abraham Winning the Ball. Lithograph, Currier and Ives, New York, N.Y., 1860.
This is the first identified reference to baseball as the National Game, as well as the start of a long tradition of sports metaphors in American politics. Lincoln the “Rail Splitter” is depicted in this rare election of 1860 print as a victorious player wielding a split-rail bat with opposing presidential candidates Stephen Douglas, John Bell, and John Breckenridge looking on.
Lincoln Commission of William D. Porter as Commodore in the Navy
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Document Signed, co-signed by Gideon Welles as Secretary of the Navy, January 26, 1863.
In this large vellum certificate handsomely engraved with marine motifs, the third brother of a famous naval family receives his Civil War commission.
Lincoln Shrewdly Plots to Stop the Spread of Slavery after the Infamous Dred Scott Case
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Autograph Letter Signed, March 9, 1858.
“‘Mr. Editor: Why may not all anti-administration men in this District vote for James H. Matheny, of Springfield, for Congress? ... Who can be more suitable, when a union of Fremont and Fillmore men, is indispensable? A. republican.’
We have thought this over here— The leading Fillmore men here wish to act with us, and they want a name upon which they can bring up their rank and file.... Don’t you see? We must have some one who will reach the Fillmore men.... A. Lincoln”
Lincoln asks Illinois’s future governor to plant an anonymous endorsement in local newspapers for Congressional candidate James Matheny, who had been the best man at Lincoln’s and Mary Todd’s 1841 wedding. Even though Matheny was not a Republican, Lincoln explains “he is with us” in opposing the Dred Scott decision.
The Gettysburg Address—First Day of Printing
The World, New York, N.Y., November 20, 1863.
“We here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain:
that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom,
and that governments of the people, by the people,
and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
A rare first day of publication newspaper from the day after Lincoln delivered his speech at Gettysburg. Lincoln’s timeless embodiment of American ideals is prominently placed on page 1.
Lincoln Pushes for Arkansas Without Slavery
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Autograph Letter Signed, January 27, 1864.
“Be sure to retain the free State constitutional provision in some unquestionable form. . . .
Do not let any questionable man control or influence you.”
After announcing his December 8, 1863, Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Lincoln paid close attention to two Arkansas groups that were both attempting reunion. In the end, Lincoln got his wish for a free state constitution for Arkansas.
Lincoln Signs to Support Union Soldiers
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Autograph Letter Signed, May 16, 1864.
“Though much pressed for time, some portion spent in efforts
to relieve and comfort our brave soldiers can not but be well spent.”
To raise money for Union soldiers, the former Illinois First Lady requested an autograph to sell at the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair. The president was only too happy to comply.
Lincoln Portrait by Currier and Ives
Lithograph, Currier and Ives, New York, N.Y., 1865.
A beautifully-detailed rendering of Lincoln.
Frederick Douglass’s Vision of Equality
FREDERICK DOUGLASS. Autograph Quotation Signed, February 24, 1882.
“In a composite nation like ours, as before the Law, there should be no rich no poor,
no high, no low, no white, no black, but a common country common citizenship,
equal rights and a common destiny.”
Douglass quotes from his 1852 address to a New York Free Soil party meeting.
Additional Items in the Collection
Lincoln-Signed Documents including an early legal brief and a letter to fellow attorney Hezekiah Wead advising him to get ready for trial; two presidential pardons—one for an arsonist, the other for a murderer and mutineer on a ship in New York harbor; an army officer’s commission (in addition to the naval commission above); a diplomatic appointment to the Vatican; and presidential letters.
Documents from Other Commanding Figures in Lincoln’s Orbit such as a rare battlefield-printed handbill of General George Meade’s order congratulating his troops after Gettysburg (to which Lincoln objected); Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase stressing the need to adequately supply Union soldiers and sailors; letters from Generals U.S. Grant requesting a Chief of Staff and William T. Sherman discussing black troops; and a second great Frederick Douglass autograph quotation signed on John Brown’s vision of the horrors of slavery.
Famous Images include an 1864 Currier and Ives lithograph depicting a black Union soldier and comparing the differences between Lincoln and his political opponents; the last photograph taken of Lincoln and his son Tad; and a lithograph picturing Lincoln’s first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet.
Additional Artifacts and Imprints feature strands of Lincoln’s hair; an ink bottle and a piece of oak from his Illinois law office; a manuscript of election returns from Lincoln’s first attempt at public office in 1840; a broadside printing of his 2nd State of the Union message; a Gettysburg battlefield bullet mold; a book containing all of the General Orders issued in 1864; and more.
Finally, to capture Lincoln’s most important speeches and addresses, a collection of original Newspapers featuring a complete set of Harper’s Weekly illustrated newspapers for the entire span of the Civil War 1861-1865; and newspapers containing printings of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s Inaugural Addresses and State of the Union Addresses, and his famous letters to Horace Greeley and Mrs. Bixby.
“This collection has several items of great historic and personal importance, especially the 1860 Lincoln chair and his 1858 letter opposing the Dred Scott decision. If the buyer is philanthropically motivated, we hope that he or she will eventually consider the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library as a place for these treasures to rest.”
—James Cornelius, Ph.D., Curator of the Lincoln Collection at
the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, Illinois
See images and detailed description of the complete collection here. Many items in the collection are also offered individually. Anything sold will be replaced by an item (or items) of equal value.