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    Description

    Abraham Lincoln Autograph Note Signed as President. One page, 3.25" x 3", n.p., October 17, 1864, penned on the verso of a piece cut from another letter. In an effort to assist an unnamed woman in finding work, President Lincoln sent this brief note to Secretary of the Treasury William Pitt Fessenden: "Hon. Sec. Of Treasury, Please see & hear this lady who wants employment. A. Lincoln Oct. 17, 1864."

    Maine Senator Fessenden was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which had responsibility for raising funds for the Civil War. He held that position before succeeding Salmon Chase as secretary of the treasury (July 1,1864), and returned to it eight months later. Quick action was needed to replace Chase, who had just been named 6th chief justice of the United States and the president insisted upon appointing Fessenden secretary of the treasury against his consent and refusal to accept it, telling Fessenden that the country required the sacrifice, and he must take the responsibility. In Fessenden's refusal letter, he told the president the job would kill him, and the president replied, "Very well, you cannot die better than in trying to save your country."

    Although they had crossed swords initially, Fessenden became an admirer of the president, although he was a frequent critic early in the war. Fessenden served until March 1865 when he returned to the Senate (rather than allow outgoing Vice President Hannibal Hamlin to get the seat). At the time, requests for jobs and interviews were many, but as is to be expected, a president's time is valuable, and only the most worthy were given notes like this, making this item rare and quite desirable. Note is mildly toned with a few ink blots, but is in very fine condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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