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Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

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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 #27561, $225,000

Illustrator Frank Leslie Publishes Fanciful Grand Reception of Civil War Notables as a Subscription Premium

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Lithograph. “Grand Reception of the Notabilities of the Nation, at the White House 1865,” New York: Frank Leslie, [April] 1865. 1 p., 19 x 23¾ in.

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Frank Leslie published this print as a premium for his new family magazine, Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, and copyrighted it on April 8, 1865, just a week before Lincoln’s death. The image, created by engraver Henry B. Major and lithographer Joseph Knapp, portrays Lincoln, flanked by the First Lady and Vice President Andrew Johnson, greeting Julia Dent Grant, wife of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant who stands nearby.

According to a notice printed at the bottom right corner, “Every Person who pays Ten Cents each for numbers 1 and 2 of Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, The New Family Paper, is entitled to a copy of this PLATE without extra charge,” or individuals could purchase the print for $3.

Item #25618, $2,000

Lincoln Calls for the public to supports the U.S. Sanitary Commission

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. HENRY W. BELLOWS, Printed Circular Letter, to “the Loyal Women of America.” Washington, D.C., October 1, 1861. 3 pp., 8 x 10 in.

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The Sanitary Commission is … of direct practical value to the nation, in this time of its trial. It is entitled to the gratitude and confidence of the people… There is no agency through which voluntary offerings of patriotism can be more effectively made.  A. Lincoln.

Item #24870, $950

A New York Soldier’s Affidavit Allowing
a Proxy to Vote in the 1864 Election

[CIVIL WAR], Partially Printed Document Signed by James M. Smith, countersigned by Jerome B. Parmenter, and Captain Joseph H. Allen. Richmond, Virginia, October 18, 1864. 1 p., 8 x 12½ in. With printed envelope restating affidavit’s claim on the outside.

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Item #21264.05, ON HOLD

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

“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, ON HOLD

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

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 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

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

The Gettysburg Address

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Book. Includes a foldout map of the planned cemetery and a copy of Lincoln’s dedication. Published in Harrisburg, 1864. Fair condition.

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Report of the Select Committee Relative to the Soldier’s National Cemetery, Together with the Accompanying Documents, as Reported to the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, March 31, 1864.

Item #21371, $1,750

Lincoln Mourning Broadside

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Broadside. The Nation’s Loss. A Poem on the Life and Death of the Hon. Abraham Lincoln. 1865. 1 p., 9¾ x 15¼ in. ½ inch loss at top not affecting text.

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Item #22850, $1,850

Lincoln, the War, and Emancipation

[EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, June 11, 1864. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Featuring illustrations of Philadelphia Sanitary Fair Central buildings, and Generals Gouverneur Warren and Horatio Wright on the front page. “Belle Plain, Virginia General Grant’s Late Base of Supplies”; “Army of the Potomac—General Warren Rallying the Marylanders”; “President Lincoln and His Secretaries”; Centerfold: “Army of the Potomac—Struggle for the Salient, near Spottsylvania [sic], Virginia, May 12, 1864”; three illustrations of the environs of Spottsylvania [sic] Court House; “Sherman’s Advance—General Logan’s Skirmishes Advancing Toward: the Railroad at Resaca”; and “Sherman’s Advance—Position of Osterhau’s Division on Bald Hill.”

Item #H 6-11-1864, $150
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