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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

Daniel Chester French Adds Lincoln Memorial Statue to His Biography for Who’s Who

DANIEL CHESTER FRENCH, Printed Entry for Who’s Who in America, with handwritten correction, signed by French at bottom. October 1, 1921. New York City. 1 p. 8½ x 10¾ in.

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In 1899, Albert Nelson Marquis (1855-1943) published the first edition of Who’s Who in America with biographical information on 8,602 “leaders and achievers” from “every significant field of endeavor.” For the twelfth volume, to be published in 1922 or 1923, French received a printed version of his prior entry with a request for updates. French added his latest and greatest accomplishment, the completion in 1920 of his sculpture for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Item #24358, $1,000

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

“Let Us Have Faith that Right Makes Might…”

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. SCHUYLER COLFAX, Autograph Quote Signed, from Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech given on February 27, 1860. Sept 10, 1877.

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Schuyler Colfax, U.S. representative from Indiana and vice president under Ulysses S. Grant, pens a famous quote from Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech.

Item #23916, $950

Gideon Welles Announces Lincoln’s Assassination to the Navy

[GIDEON WELLES], Printed Document Signed in print as Secretary of the Navy. General Order No. 51, Navy Department. Washington, D.C. April 15, 1865. Black border, issued just hours after the president’s death. One page with integral blank, 5½ x 8½ in.

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Item #23915, $2,500

The Gettysburg Address, with Full Centerfold Illustrations of the Battlefield and Lincoln’s Dedication Ceremony

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, Newspaper, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, New York, December 5, 1863. 16 pp., complete.

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and that Government of the people, for the people, and for all people, shall not perish from earth.

As printing technology advanced through the middle decades of the nineteenth century, illustrated newspapers grew in popularity even though their engravings added a few weeks to press time. Leslie’s printing—from December 5—includes an article containing the full text of Lincoln’s timeless speech (page 11). Illustrations include a centerfold spread with the formal dedication ceremony prominently placed, and smaller views of Union and rebel graves, defensive works, Meade’s headquarters, and a view of the town (centerfold). A large illustration of “The War in Tennessee—Lookout Mountain and Its Vicinity” appears on the front page.

There is no definitive text that captures exactly how Lincoln spoke that day, though the AP reporter’s text is most familiar. Leslie’s printing, following the Philadelphia Enquirer version, contains variations, most notably in the final two sentences regarding the nation’s unfinished work and closing phrase of “Government of the people, for the people, and for all people” rather than “of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Item #23577.01, $1,250

Peter Cooper’s Letter to Lincoln Regarding Emancipation

PETER COOPER. [SLAVERY], Pamphlet. Letter of Peter Cooper, on Slave Emancipation, Loyal Publication Society, New York, 1862, 8pp., disbound.

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“It is a fact that the enslavement of human beings has so far infused its insidious poison into the very hearts of the Southern people, that they have come to believe and declare the evil of slavery to be a good, and to require the power of Government to be exerted to maintain, extend, and perpetuate an institution that enables thousands to sell their own children, to be enslaved, with all their posterity, into hopeless bondage....”

The founder of New York City’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art echoes the language and logic of the Emancipation Proclamation (as well as citing some Southern pro-slavery arguments to demonstrate their ridiculousness) in this open letter to President Lincoln. Cooper and the Cooper Union had long been advocates of abolition and both Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had famously lectured at the institution.

Item #23579, $400

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

A Union Officer’s Commission, and Field Report from
the 17th Connecticut Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg

[CIVIL WAR – GETTYSBURG], Allen G. Brady, Autograph Manuscript, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1863. 6 pp., in pencil, an unsigned draft or retained copy.

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A field report from the Battle of Gettysburg by Major Allen G. Brady, commander of the 17th Connecticut Regiment, written on the 4th of July, 1863, the day after the battle ended in a great victory for the Union.

“We had not more than time to form before the enemy were discovered advancing rapidly upon us on our right & a full Brigade obliquely towards our left….our fire was so destructive it checked their advance the troops on our left giving way the enemy came in behind us but we still remained firmly at the stone wall until the rebels were driven back.”

Item #21808, $7,500

Lincoln’s Vice President Talks Local Politics

HANNIBAL HAMLIN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Sidney Perham, Boston, May 4, 1866. 2 pp., 5 x 8 in., marked “Private” and docketed “H Hamlin.”

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Lincoln’s first vice president, discusses local Maine politics regarding the replacement of a longstanding U.S. District Court Judge.

Item #22863, $600

The Nation Mourns

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 6, 1865. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Engravings include: Lincoln and son Tad at home. Scene at the death bed of President Lincoln. Funeral service at the White House. Ford’s Theatre. Attempted assassination of Secretary Seward. Citizens viewing the body at City Hall, New York.

Item #H-5-6-1865, $750

Lincoln Reviews the Army of the Potomac

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 2, 1863. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Collecting confiscated rebel cotton. Ironclad Keokuk sinking after the battle at Charleston. Pres. Lincoln, General Hooker, and their staff at a review of the Army of the Potomac. Bombardment of Fort Sumter.

Item #H-5-2-1863, $100

Lincoln Raises the Flag

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, March 9, 1861. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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President Lincoln hoisting the 34-star American flag on Independence Hall, Philadelphia, with his speech. United States arsenal at Little Rock, Arkansas surrendered to the state troops. Interior of the new dome of the capitol at Washington. Front view of Fort Pickens, Pensacola. Inauguration of Pres. Jefferson Davis at Montgomery, Alabama.

Item #H-3-9-1861, $160

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.

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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.

Item #22722, PRICE ON REQUEST

Lincoln Portrait by Currier & Ives

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Currier & Ives. Lithograph, New York, 1865. In 24 x 29 in. hand-gilt frame.

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Item #20323, $1,800

Currier and Ives Mourn Lincoln After His Assassination

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Print. Abraham Lincoln. The Nations Martyr. Assassinated April 14th. 1865. Currier & Ives, New York, N.Y., 1865. 1 p., 13½ x 18 in. Light toning.

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Item #22935, $1,800

Lincoln’s Third State of the Union Address
and Amnesty Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. New York Times, New York, N.Y., Dec. 10, 1863, with “Supplement to The New York Times” complete with its own masthead. 12 pp. 14¾ x 21 in.

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Contains Lincoln’s entire 1863 Message to Congress, where he reaffirmed his commitment to emancipation, as well as His Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which laid out a plan to return the rebellious states to the Union fold. Commonly called the “Ten Percent Plan,” it allowed for a state to hold new elections when 10% of its 1860 voters took a loyalty oath to the Union.

Item #30001.20, $950

A Confederate Newspaper Prints Lincoln’s Response
to Horace Greeley’s "Prayer of Twenty Millions" Anti-Slavery Editorial

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Richmond Whig, Richmond, Va., August 30, 1862. 2 pp., 17 x 24 in.

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On the front page under “News from the North” is the text of Abraham Lincoln’s reply to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley. Greeley’s letter urging Lincoln to emancipate all slaves in Union-held territory was known as “The Prayer of Twenty Millions.” It was first published on August 20, 1862. Lincoln responded on August 22, declaring that his paramount goal is to save the Union, regardless of its effect on slavery, as well as his personal views that all men should be free.

Item #30007.01, $650

A Copperhead Newspaper Prints, Then Criticizes,
the Emancipation Proclamation

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, Newspaper. New York Journal of Commerce. New York, N.Y., January 3, 1863. 4 pp., 24 x 32½ in.

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An early report of the Emancipation Proclamation, where the editors describe Lincoln’s bold move as “a farce coming in after a long tragedy....Most of the people regard it as a very foolish piece of business.”

Item #22448.01, $1,450

1865 General Orders,
Including Many Regarding Lincoln’s Assassination

[CIVIL WAR - WAR DEPARTMENT], Book. Bound collection of separately printed General Orders from the Adjutant General’s office for 1865. Containing 168 of 175 consecutive orders, and a 94-page index at front. Bound for Major General William Scott Ketchum, with his name in gilt on the spine and his markings or wartime notes on numerous pages. 4¾ x 7 in.

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Item #22265, $4,800
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