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A Naval Physician Describes Tension
Between Lincoln and Admiral Goldsborough

A. S. HEATH. [CIVIL WAR], Autograph Letter Signed, to his wife. 4 pp., 7½ x 9¾ in., “U.S. Steamer Daylight, Beaufort Harbor,” Beaufort, [North Carolina], May 23, 1862.


“the President [Lincoln] gives old [Admiral] Goldsborough fits, threatening to cashier him &c &c.  Good for the President. Had he known what I have, about him (G) he would have come to the same conclusion six months ago.”

Item #22958, $500

Aaron Burr Manages his New York City Law Office From Albany

AARON BURR, Autograph Letter Signed, to William Ireson. Albany, N.Y., July 20, 1791. 3 pp., folio, with integral address leaf to Ireson “at A Burr’s.”


In July 1791, Burr was serving as New York State commissioner of Revolutionary claims and also as freshman U.S. Senator representing New York, while also practicing law. Here, the future presidential candidate and notorious dueler instructs the clerk keeping Burr’s New York office running on everything from entering pleas, to sending case paperwork, to ordering vials of “Mr Lamb’s Eye Water” and books analyzing the French Revolution, while inquiring about his wife and sundry legal matters.

Item #21480.04, $1,800

Request for Return of Drury’s Men to the General Court Committee Probably Signed by a Lexington-Concord Minuteman

AARON CHAMBERLAIN, Autograph Letter Signed (Aaron Chamberlin), Boston, 29 June 1782, 1 p., to Col. Drury (in Grafton). For “the Three Months that were raisd by Virtue of a Resolve of the 16 of June 1781”.


Item #20639.15, $400

Defending New York in 1776 - Entrenching Tools

ABRAHAM BRINCKERHOFF, Autograph Document Signed. March 16, 1776. 2 pp. A detailed account of various tools delivered and returned for the purposes of constructing defenses around New York City in the spring of 1776. Colonel Abraham Brinckerhoff, “quartermaster of the 2nd battallion” is the officer in charge of supplying the tools. This account records the names of captains on the day’s fatigue duty together with the tools they took for the day’s work including “Pick Axes”, “Shod Shovels,” “Spades,” “Iron Shovels,” and “Axes.” Captains include Jacob Chase, Patrick Birmingham, and others.


Item #21007.64, $1,950

New Jersey’s, “Poor Man’s Counselor” Dockets a Judgment

ABRAHAM CLARK, Document Signed. Judgment in a civil suit. Docketed by Clark on verso. 1 p., 7½ x 5½ in. Lacking 1/4 of leaf and manuscript, edge chipping.


Item #22991.04, $2,500

Pro-Lincoln Reelection Broadside

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Pro Lincoln 1864 Campaign Broadside. 1864. 1 p., 10 1/8 x 13 1/8 in.


Item #23110, $600

As Congress Finally Considers an Anti-Slavery Amendment, Lincoln Decides That Sending a Presidential Message to Congress Would Not Help the Cause

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Endorsement Signed as President, to John D. Defrees, Washington, D.C., February 8, 1864. On verso of an excellent content Autograph Letter Signed by Defrees, February 7, 1864.


Item #23199, $55,000

Abraham Lincoln Mourning Stereoview

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Photograph. Lincoln funerary stereoview. c. April 1865, E.F. Smith photographer, Boston, Mass.


Item #22051, $275

Rare Lincoln 1864 Presidential Campaign Newspaper

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Newspaper. Father Abraham. Reading, PA: October 4, 1864. Vol 1, No 10. 4 pp., 17¾ x 11¾ in.


Item #23426, $1,250

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation - First War Department Printing

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Printed Document. General Order No. 139, US War Department, September 24, 1862. (but typically printed a week or two later). Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Signed in type by Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. Printed Washington DC: Government Printing Office, September 24, 1862. 3 pages, 7½ x 5 inches, on one folded sheet; stitch holes.


Item #23643, $2,250

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation - Rare Pocket Edition

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Pamphlet. The Proclamation of Emancipation, by the President of the United States, to Take Effect January 1st, 1863. [Boston, Mass., John Murray Forbes, December, 1862]. 7 pp., 2⅛ x 3¼ in.


“All persons held as slaves within said designated states and parts of states are, and henceforward shall be, free…”

Distributed in the North and issued to soldiers in the field, this miniature preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862 is the only contemporary printing of Lincoln’s great text in separate pamphlet form. As evidence of slavery’s role in the war and Confederacy, a quote from the Confederate Vice President is printed on the rear wrapper: “Slavery the Chief Corner-Stone. / ‘This stone (slavery), which was rejected by the first builders, is become the chief stone of the corner in our new edifice.’ – Speech of Alex. H. Stephens, Vice President of the so-called Confederate States, delivered March 31, ’61.”

One million copies were allegedly printed by John Murray Forbes, to be distributed throughout the North and extensively to blacks in the South via Union troops. Given this pamphlet’s rarity, that number seems highly unlikely. Though several more have since been found, in 1950 pioneering bibliographer and dealer Charles Eberstadt located but seven surviving copies of the preliminary edition and three of the corresponding version of the final proclamation.

Item #23779, $22,500

A New York Newspaper Prints Lincoln’s Cooper Union Speech on the Front Page

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Newspaper. New York Semi-Weekly Tribune, New York, N.Y., February 28, 1860, 8 pp., disbound. The complete text of Lincoln’s speech is printed under the headline: “NATIONAL POLITICS, A Speech, Delivered at the Cooper Institute Last Evening, by, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, of Illinois.”


“Let us have faith that right makes might.”

Item #23139, $9,500

Abraham Lincoln Legal Brief Just After His First Law Partner Left For Congress

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Manuscript Signed “Stuart & Lincoln” (meaning the entire text and signature was penned by Lincoln), Sangamon County, Illinois, after November 4, 1839. 2 pp. 7⅝ x 12½ in.


“Yet the said defendant (although often requested so to do) hath not as yet paid the said several sums of money or either of them  or any part thereof, bus so to do, hath hitherto wholly neglected and refuse- to the damage of the said plaintiffs of five hundred dollars and therefore they sue…

                                                                        Stuart & Lincoln p.q….”

A complaint on behalf of Lincoln’s and Stuart’s client, Neff, Wanton & Company, against Josiah Francis, an Athens storekeeper. On March 13, 1837, Francis purchased $319.21 worth of goods on 6 months credit, which he failed to pay. On November 4, 1839, he agreed to pay a further $45.45 for interest and penalties. Here, Lincoln recites the history, notes they still haven’t been paid, and claims $500 in damages. Lincoln was involved in a second suit against Josiah Francis in 1841, after Francis bought a building and failed to pay on time. Francis served in the Illinois legislature, and founded the Sangamo Journal, which his brother edited.

Item #23827, $11,000

Broadsheet of Lincoln’s 1862 State of the Union Message

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Broadsheet, “Sentinel Extra” [place unknown[1]], ca. December 2, 1862, 9⅛ x 24 in. 2 pp.


We cannot escape history… In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free… We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth...”

One month before signing the Emancipation Proclamation, the president proposes colonization and his plan for compensated emancipation, discusses foreign affairs, reports on progress of the Pacific Railroad, the war and finance. This rare “Sentinel Extra” broadsheet (apparently unrecorded in OCLC) has other news of the day on the verso, including a fantastic article quoting General Meagher’s reaction to the resignation of several officers after McClellan was removed.

Item #22179, $6,500

Lincoln Pushes for Arkansas Without Slavery

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Frederick Steele. Washington, D.C., January 27, 1864. 1 p., 7¾ x 9¾ in. On Executive Mansion stationery.


After announcing his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863, Lincoln paid close attention to two Arkansas groups both aiming for reunion. Here, the president is concerned about potential conflicts with his plan, but in the end, both plans coincided in the key detail of ending slavery.


A Rare Abraham Lincoln Survey and Plat Plan

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph memorandum and plat (completely in Lincoln’s hand), unsigned. [Springfield, Ill.], between October 1837 – June 1838. 1 p., 7¾ x 6¼ in.


Between rail splitting, shop-keeping and lawyering, one of Lincoln’s lesser-known professions was as county surveyor. Here, he combines skills, representing the widow Rhoda Hart in legal proceedings involving the sale of her deceased husband’s land against a competing family member’s claims. Lincoln and Hart prevailed.

Most of Lincoln’s surveys were made for town and county governments rather than individuals land holders. As a result, unlike those of George Washington, very few Lincoln surveys have ever come on the market. We find only two, without land plats, in major auction records of the last 40 years (one selling at the 1979 Sang auction, and again at Sotheby’s in 1987; and the other, now being offered privately for $32,500, but frankly, it has no visual appeal.)

Item #23770, $25,000

Last Formal Photograph of Lincoln, with Son “Tad”

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Photograph [taken by Alexander Gardner, February 5, 1865], Albumen print by Bouve, Boston, Mass. Captioned, “President Lincoln and his Son Thaddeus/ The Last Photograph the President Sat For/ Published by G.F Bouve & Co, 41 Brattle St, Boston.” Image 6¼ x 8½ in., mounted on original board, 8 x 10 in.


In this albumen print, Lincoln’s youngest son Thomas is erroneously called “Thaddeus,” because of nickname “Tad.” An unfinished Washington Monument (construction began in 1848, but was not completed until 1884) rises in the background perhaps referencing the funerary motif of a broken column symbolic of a life cut short. This image, showing father and son posing for what would be Lincoln’s last sitting.

Item #22350, $3,750

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

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.


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.

Item #23781, $26,000

Lincoln is Thrice Rejected

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed as President, to Edwin Stanton. Washington, D.C., May 15, 1862. With Lincoln Autographed Endorsement Signed, December 15 1862, 4 p., with internal blank leaves, 5 x 8 in. On verso: Autograph Endorsement Signed by Lorenzo Thomas, May 15, 1862, and a second Lincoln Autograph Endorsement Signed, December 11, 1862.


Lincoln runs into red tape as he advocates for Captain Symmes Gardner’s renomination as assistant quartermaster. Lincoln adds two endorsements seven months after his initial letter to the Secretary of War, making this an exceedingly rare, triple-signed Lincoln letter.

Item #22828, $32,500

Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, as President, to Secretary of State William H. Seward, “Executive Mansion,” Washington, D.C., March 5, 1862. Signed at bottom by “William H. Seward,” with a note in an unidentified contemporary hand. 1 p. 4¾ x 7¼ in.


The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slaveowners for their lost “assets.” Here, President Lincoln requests that Secretary of State William Seward summon a meeting of the Cabinet. The following day, the president presented a special message to Congress with his plan end slavery through compensation. There were no takers among the slaveholding border states. The brevity of Lincoln’s letter belies its far-reaching implications and the tantalizing possibilities of “what might have been.”

Item #23747, $90,000
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