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Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

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Lincoln Defends Guilty Client Against Breaking and Entering Charge Brought by Chester Moon, Who Lincoln Beat a Year Later in a Case of Assault with a Deadly Weapon

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Manuscript Signed by Lincoln as “Lincoln & Herndon.” Bottom portion of Plea, Joinder, and Notice, in the case of Moon v. Preston, June 1845. ½ p., 4½ x 7¾ in. Small repair to chips and archival Japanese tissue reinforcement to crease on verso.

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In May 1845, Chester Moon filed suit against Isaac Preston in the Menard County Circuit Court for trespass and requested $150 in damages. Moon charged that in October 1844, Preston broke into a dwelling house that Moon owned and “made a great noise and disturbance therein” and continued for “thirty entire days.” In doing so, Preston “broke to pieces, damaged, and spoiled” two doors and broke the glass, sashes, and shutters of the windows.  During the entire time, Moon and his family were “not only greatly annoyed and disturbed” but Preston’s actions prevented Moon from “carrying on and transacting therein his lawful and necessary affairs and business.”

Item #24544.01, ON HOLD

Rare Abraham Lincoln-Signed Whaling Ship’s Sea Letter

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Partly-printed Document Signed as president, and countersigned by Secretary of State William H. Seward, September 26, 1864. Four-language sea letter issued to whaling ship Illinois of New Bedford. Lincoln-signed whaling ship sea letters are as much as 100 times scarcer than Civil War military commissions. 1 p., in parallel French, Spanish, English and Dutch, with the seal of the United States and a revenue stamp. 22 x 17 in.

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Item #24694, $16,000

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, $390,000

Abraham Lincoln Lengthy and Attractive Signed Legal Brief in a Case Heard by Judge David Davis, Later Lincoln’s Campaign Manager and Supreme Court Appointee

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Manuscript Signed by Lincoln as “Bush & Lincoln pq,” Narratio, March 1850, in the case of Matthews v. Saltonstall, April 1850 term of the Tazewell County Circuit Court. 2 ½ pp with approx. 670 words in Lincoln’s hand, blue paper.

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On September 20, 1849, William L. Saltonstall began building a road through Josiah Matthews’ land, southwest of Tremont, Illinois.  Matthews objected and retained Abraham Lincoln and local attorney John M. Bush to file suit against in the Tazewell County Circuit Court, at the newly constructed courthouse in Pekin, on March 9, 1850. Matthews sued in the action of trespass and requested $500 for damage to his land. Saltonstall retained Lincoln’s former partner John T. Stuart and local attorney Benjamin F. James. In an affidavit filed on April 6, they declared that Guerdon F. Saltonstall could testify that six years earlier, when he owned the land, he and Matthews agreed that a lane be left along Matthews’ property as a right-of-way. Pending his testimony, the judge ordered a continuance. Both parties then agreed to arbitration, and on June 4, 1850, Matthews agreed that a right of way was necessary, and Saltonstall agreed to pay actual damages to be set by the arbitrators.  Three arbitrators viewed the land and listened to testimony. On June 12, they rendered their decision that Saltonstall should pay Matthews $16 and also pay $5.90 for the costs of the arbitration. At the September 1850 term of the Tazewell County Circuit Court, Judge David Davis dismissed the case, ordering Matthews to pay $2.40 in court costs.

Item #24513, $11,500

Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant on Civil War Era Patriotic Milk Glass Vase

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN, WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, AND ULYSSES S. GRANT], Pale green patriotic milk glass vase with hand-colored transfer portraits of Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant. Height 10½ inches, covered with hand-painted designs including an eagle, American shield, unfurled flag, banner inscribed “E Pluribus Unum,” with lilacs, gold banding and Greek key motifs. No markings or indication of origin, but likely produced towards the end of the Civil Civil War. Ca. 1865.

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Item #24349, $7,500

Abraham Lincoln Patriotic Milk Glass Goblet

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Patriotic Milk Glass Goblet. Height 5½ inches. The design elements are either entirely hand-painted or transfer-printed with hand-painted highlights and include a portrait of Lincoln, and an American eagle, bannerette, flag, shield and oak leaves on the opposite side. Three levels of gold banding, garlands of flowers and Arabesque designs finish the piece. Not marked, circa 1865.

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Item #24350, $6,500

Despite Treason Accusation, Lincoln Can’t Fire a Lt. Col. Appointed by NY Governor

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed as President (“A. Lincoln”), December 28, 1861, Executive Mansion, Washington, D.C., to Henry Liebenau, Esq. 1 page, 5 x 8 in.

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“The appeal must be made, if at all, to the Governor.”

Item #24189, $22,000

Abraham Lincoln and Archduke Franz Joseph:
A Unique Link Between Our Martyred President and the Assassination That Started WWI

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Partially Printed Document Signed “Abraham Lincoln,” Washington, D.C., February 18, 1864. 1 p. 8 x 10 in.

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President Abraham Lincoln directs Secretary of State William H. Seward to attach the seal of the United States to the envelope for a letter to the Austrian Emperor. This remarkable document forms an extraordinary connection between two important world events—the American Civil War and World War I.  In the letter to which this order relates, Lincoln congratulated Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria on the birth of his nephew Archduke Franz Ferdinand.  The assassination of this archduke fifty years later in Sarajevo sparked World War I.

Item #24501, $12,500

The Emancipation Proclamation:
A Miniature Edition of the Document that Saved America

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Pamphlet. Proclamation of Emancipation, by the President of the United States, January 1st, 1863. [Boston, Mass., John Murray Forbes, ca. Jan. 20, 1863]. 8 pp., plus printed wraps, 2¼ x 3¼ in.

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“All persons held as slaves within said designated States

and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free.”

Item #24310, $22,000

1860 Republican Party Roll Call from the Chicago Wigwam Convention that Nominated Lincoln for the Presidency

[REPUBLICAN PARTY], Broadside, “Roll of the National Republican Convention, Chicago, May 16th, 1860,” Chicago, 1860, 14⅜ x 20½ in.

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Exceedingly rare broadside containing a complete list of the members of the National Committee and Delegates. Printing the vote counts of 26 States and the District of Columbia. Representing the southern slave owning states are: Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia.

Item #24111, $3,750

President Lincoln & His Most Profitable Client, the Illinois Central Railroad

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed “A. Lincoln” as President, to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, May 23, 1863. “Executive Mansion, Washington” stationery, 2 pp. on one sheet, 7¾ x 9¾ in. With front panel of original envelope, to which Lincoln has added an Autograph Note Signed, and Stanton has also added an Autograph Note Signed.

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Less than six years after he successfully sued the Illinois Central for legal fees, President Lincoln faces another problem with the railroad, now vital for the transportation of Union troops. In another dispute over payments, he tells his Secretary of War, “If I had the leisure which I have not, I believe I could settle it; but prima facie it appears to me we better settle the account ourselves...”

Item #22131, $60,000

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

“Has the War Ruined the Country?”: Lincoln Re-Election Broadside

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Broadside. Has the War Ruined the Country? Published by the National Union Executive Committee, Astor House, New York, N.Y., [ca. 1864]. 1 p., 9 x 16 in. Inscribed “Tho. B VanDamme from P.M.J. Chesley Nov. 7, ‘64”

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“The Copperheads assert that the War has ruined the Country; that we can never pay our debt; and that the war has proved a failure. Look at these Diagrams, based on official records, and see if this is true.”

Item #24280, $3,200

“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 First War Department Printing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Bound with 400-plus 1862-1863 General Orders, including the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Printed Document. Emancipation Proclamation. Signed in type by Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. General Order No. 1, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington January 2, 1863 (but based on usual practice, more likely printed ca. January 7th.). 3pp.

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This book of official War Department orders was bound together for Army paymaster Major N.S. Brinton.

Item #23692, $4,500

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.

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Item #23426, $1,250

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.

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“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

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.

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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

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, $2,750
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