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Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

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The Only Abraham Lincoln Letter to his Fiancée Mary Owens Still in Private Hands—Long on Politics, Short on Love

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Mary S. Owens, December 13, 1836, 2 pp., 9¾ x 7¾ in.

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Write back as soon as you get this, and if possible say something that will please me, for really I have not been pleased since I left you.

Here, Lincoln perfectly demonstrates what Owens later described as deficiencies “in those little links which make up the chain of a woman’s happiness.”  Rather than expressing his feelings for Owens, Lincoln complains about his health and discusses political issues swirling in the Illinois General Assembly. Although inept at love, the letter offers rare insight into the young representative’s thoughts on a variety of political issues. In this highly important letter to Mary Owens, a self-absorbed Lincoln complains to his potential spouse of his health, both physical and mental, and discusses political issues to the point that he describes his own letter as “dry and stupid.” Perhaps more revealing than he realized, it illustrates the tension in Lincoln’s early life between matters of the head, with which he was comfortable, and matters of the heart, with which he clearly was not.

Item #24346.99, $375,000

Attorneys Abraham Lincoln and John Todd Stuart
Announce a New Partnership in Their Hometown Newspaper, the Sangamo Journal

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Sangamo Journal, Springfield, Ill., December 23, 1837. 4 pp., 18 x 24¾ in. Double matted and framed with glass on both sides to display pages one and four. Slightly chipped 26 x 33 in. frame.

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Lincoln and John Todd Stuart, cousin of Lincoln’s future wife Mary Todd, had served together in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1834-1836. They formed Stuart & Lincoln on April 12, 1837.

Item #23104.01, $2,500

Lincoln Sues a Bridge Contractor for Payment (SOLD)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Document Signed. Legal Brief. [Springfield, Ill., April 16, 1839]. 1 p., 7 5/8 x 12 5/8 in.

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Item #22878, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Abraham Lincoln Throws His Hat into the Ring: Developing the Strategy that Eventually Made Him President (SOLD)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1809-1865), Autograph Letter Signed, Springfield, 14 February 1843, to Alden Hull, who represented Tazewell County in Congress from 1838 to 1842. 1 page, 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in, with autograph address panel.

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“the most revealing piece of correspondence that has come to light on the methods of personal approach used by the early political Lincoln. (Carl Sandburg)

Item #21994.99, SOLD — please inquire about other items

The Lincoln - Grimsley Trunk (SOLD)

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Dome-top wooden and undressed-cowhide trunk, with key. Label of “William Judson, Trunk Maker… York, [England].” Original hand wrought hardware, including lock and key.

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Just before setting off to begin his presidency, Lincoln stored his personal effects in this trunk.

A week before embarking on his historic rail journey from Springfield to the nation’s capital, President-elect Lincoln filled this much-used trunk with his and Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal effects. He delivered it for safekeeping to Mary’s favorite cousin, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Todd Grimsley.

Item #21924, SOLD — please inquire about other items

After Investing in its Stock, Lincoln Represents a Railroad in a Precedent-Setting Lawsuit

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Manuscript Signed by Lincoln in text, constituting his official transcript of the “Subscription Book of the Capital Stock of the Alton and Sangamon Rail Road Company,” incorporated February 27, 1847, transcribed in early 1851. Comprising a cover sheet titled in Lincoln’s hand, the joint stock subscription statement and list of 91 shareholders with the number of shares subscribed, and leaf with Lincoln’s legal docket: “Alton and Sangamon Railroad Company vs. James A. Barret. Copy of contents of subscription book....” 8 pp., 6⅝ x 8¼ x ¼ in.

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A list of stockholders, entirely in Lincoln’s hand, filed as evidence in his first significant railroad case. Lincoln’s own appearance in the shareholder list represents only the second known instance of a stock purchase by the future president. The Illinois Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling in favor of Lincoln and the railroad set an important legal precedent, upholding the binding nature of a stockholder’s contractual and financial obligations. “The decision, subsequently cited in twenty-five other cases throughout the United States, helped establish the principle that corporation charters could be altered in the public interest, and it established Lincoln as one of the most prominent and successful Illinois practitioners of railroad law” (Donald, p.155).

Item #21117.99, $325,000

Lincoln’s Spot Resolutions

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. National Intelligencer, Thursday, December 23, 1847. Washington: Gales & Seaton . 4 pp. Offered with another issue of the National Intelligencer, January 20, 1848. 4 pp.

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Lincoln’s spot resolution and speech condemns the pretexts for starting the war with Mexico. He requests proof from President Polk that American blood was shed on American soil and that the enemy provoked the Americans, and he asks if those Americans present were ordered there by the United States Army.

Item #22094.01 -.02, $2,750

The Republican “Wide Awakes” Determine to Resist the Expansion of Slavery “by all constitutional means.” (SOLD)

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Manuscript Document. Constitutions and minutes from five manifestations of the Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Republican Party organization. Woonsocket, R.I., 1856 – 1864. Including the 1860 “Wide Awakes.” 121 pp. (nearly half blank), 8 x 11 in.

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An anti-slavery Republican Party campaign record ledger from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, 1856 to 1864, including the handwritten “Wide Awakes” constitution and minutes from the 1860 election.

Item #22220, SOLD — please inquire about other items

“Honest Abe” Lincoln Admits to Skirting the Truth with his Wife

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Rosette, editor of the Springfield Republican, February 20, 1857, Springfield, Ill. Headed “Private” in Lincoln’s hand. 1 p., 7½ x 9⅝ in.

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Headed “Private” in Lincoln’s hand, this unique letter reveals an awkward intersection of domestic and national politics and an instructive insight into the marriage of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. Here, Lincoln admits to not being truthful with his wife on the small matter of purchasing a copy of a new partisan newspaper, a year before the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. “When the paper was first brought to my house, my wife said to me ‘now are you going to take another worthless little paper,’ I said to her evasively, I had not directed the paper to be left. From this, in my absence, she sent the message to the carrier. This is the whole story.

Item #21190.99, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Rare New York Senate Print of Proposed State Law to Combat the Dred Scott Decision

SLAVERY AND ABOLITION—NEW YORK STATE, New York Senate. “An Act To secure Freedom to all persons within this State,” Edward M. Madden, April 9, 1857, Passed the Assembly on April 17; failed in the Senate. Printed with numbered lines for the use of the Senate. 1 p., 6.5 x 11.5 in.

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Every slave … who shall come or be brought, or be involuntarily in this state shall be free.

Item #23389.07, $2,500

The 1858 Debates that Propelled Lincoln to National Attention

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Book. Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858, in Illinois. Columbus, Ohio: Follett, Foster, and Co., 1860. 3rd edition, with publisher’s advertisements bound in. 268 pp., 6½ x 9½ in.

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Item #22476, $1,500

The Lincoln Nomination Chair (SOLD)

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Chair, bentwood hickory; painted black. [Springfield, Illinois?, ca. 1860].

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Item #22294, SOLD — please inquire about other items

An Early Lincoln Campaign Biography

JOHN LOCKE SCRIPPS, Pamphlet, “Tribune Tracts –No. 6. Life of Abraham Lincoln. Chapter 1. Early Life.” New York: Tribune, 1860. 32 pp. Original stitching intact, ads for The New York Tribune and the Tribune Almanac of 1860 on back cover, light age, small tear at bottom right not affecting text, minor chipping, otherwise good. 6 x 9¼ in.

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An early Lincoln campaign biography based on interviews with Lincoln associates in Springfield.

Item #20521, $650

A First-Day New York Printing of Candidate Lincoln’s
Cooper Union Speech (SOLD)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Newspaper. New York Evening Post, New York, N.Y., February 28, 1860, 4 pp., 26 x 30½ in. Disbound. Lincoln’s speech is printed on the front page and continued on page 4. With British Museum stamp next to masthead.

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“Let us have faith that right makes might.”

Item #22803, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln Thanks a Supporter for Chicago News, with Republican Convention Materials (SOLD)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to P.A. Hackleman. Springfield, Ill., June 8, 1860. 1 p. 5 x 8 in. With a 5 ½ x 3 in. envelope postmarked “Rushville Ills. June 13” and “Springfield, Ill.” With: A pair of exceedingly rare broadsides from the Chicago convention that nominated Lincoln for the Presidency.

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In June 1860, Lincoln had only recently gained the nomination as Republican Presidential candidate. A month earlier, he had been locked in a tight battle with heavy favorite William Seward. Lincoln’s surrogates packed the Chicago Republican convention hall with supporters and enlisted the help of a local newspaper editor to secure the votes of the Ohio delegation. After a raucous debate and inside dealings worthy of Chicago’s political reputation, Lincoln won the nominated on the third ballot.

Item #22613; 22557.01-.02, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Abraham Lincoln Famous Nomination Photograph (SOLD)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Platinum print photograph, 20½ x 26½ inches. One of three images taken by Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860 in Springfield, Illinois. After the war, Philadelphia photographer George B. Ayres purchased Hesler’s studio and negatives. This massive print was enlarged from Hesler’s negative by Ayres ca. 1897, with original blind stamp in each of the lower corners, “G. B. Ayres, Copyright 1897.” Framed to 30¾ x 37½ inches.

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Item #24690, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Lincoln Thanks Former Pro-Slavery and Newly Republican Congressman for a Fiery Anti-Slavery Speech at a Philadelphia Campaign Rally (SOLD)

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to John Hickman. Springfield, Ill., July 29, 1860. 1 p., 4½ x 7 in. With original envelope addressed to Hickman in Lincoln’s hand, with “Free” and “Springfield, IL July 30” postmark. [Lincoln didn’t have the franking privilege at the time, but it was free to send mail to members of Congress.]

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John Hickman, a pro-slavery Pennsylvania Democrat, became fervently anti-slavery over Buchanan’s moves to expand slavery into Kansas. Hickman migrated into the “anti-Lecompton” wing of the Democratic party, then towards the Know Nothings, and finally becoming a founder of the Republican Party. In the May 1860 Wigwam convention that chose Lincoln as the Republican Presidential nominee, Hickman was a candidate for the vice presidency; he came in third, after Hannibal Hamlin and Cassius Clay.

At a July 24, 1860, Philadelphia rally, with the nominees in place, Congressman Hickman made his case in support of Lincoln and Hamlin against the “extravagant and unconstitutional demands” of the South regarding the expansion of slavery. “We can only make it effectual in one way—by the support of Mr. LINCOLN. He is honest and capable, and attached to the principles of the Constitution, and his election will assign limits to sectional oligarchy, and make labor honorable and remunerative....” Less than a week later, Lincoln received a copy of the speech from Hickman and thanked him with this brief letter. Clearly, the battle lines of the watershed election of 1860 had been drawn.

A significant portion of Hickman’s speech was soon printed in pamphlet form attached to Lincoln’s already famous Cooper Union speech. Titled The Republican party vindicated--the demands of the South explained : Speech of Hon. Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, at the Cooper Institute, New York City, February 27, 1860. The pamphlet adds to Lincoln long excerpts from Hickman’s speech, pieces arguing against the Democratic candidate Stephen Douglas (“The Dred Scott Decision and Douglas’ Endorsement Thereof,” and “Practical Operation of Douglas’ ‘Non-Intervention.’”), and his running mate (“Herschel V. Johnson’s Views”).

To accompany our letter, we include a first edition of the pamphlet (#24290.03).  A digital copy of the whole pamphlet can also be seen:  https://archive.org/details/republicanparty00linc

Item #23781, SOLD — please inquire about other items

Abraham Lincoln: Large 1861 Inauguration Chromolithograph

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Chromolithograph. Presidents of the United States, [Philadelphia]: Published by F. Bouclet, lithographed by A. Feusier. Sheet size: 21 in. x 27 in. Image size: 24½ in. x 18¾ in.

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Item #25965, $2,600

Very Rare and Possibly Unique Political Print of Abraham Lincoln

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. GABRIEL KAEHRLE, Print. “Abraham Lincoln,” with excerpt from First Inaugural Address, ca. 1861-1864. 9¾ x 12 in.

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An unusual and possibly unique Lincoln portrait above patriotic banners and a quotation from his first inaugural address.

Item #25613, $2,400

Reporting Lincoln’s Journey to Washington
for His Inauguration

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Times, New York, N.Y., February 23, 1861. 8 pp.

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Item #30000.79, SOLD — please inquire about other items
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