[Edwin Stanton] Contemporary Copies of Sec. of War Stanton's Dispatches Reporting President Lincoln's Decline and Death, written in an unidentified hand but signed "J.H.", 2 pages, 6" x 10", in pencil on yellow paper. This manuscript, very possibly written by a press telegrapher as news of the assassination came over the wires, includes the two most famous messages sent by Stanton during the death watch, addressed to Gen. John A. Dix, then commanding in New York.

    The first, datelined from the War Department at 4:10 A.M. on April 15, 1865, reports "The Prest. continues insensible & sinking. Sec. Seward remains without change. Fredk. Seward's skull is fractured in 2 places... Wilkes Booth...shot the President... It appears from a letter found in Booth's trunk that the murder was planned before the 4 March, but fell through then because the accomplices backed out until Richmond would be heard from..." The second dispatch solemnly and simply reports: "Ab. Lincoln died this morning at 22 min. past 7." The manuscript concludes with two other reports, neither attributed and both erroneous to a degree: "...Fred Seward is dead -- 9 o'c this A.M." and "Wilkes Booth is the youngest brother of Edwin Booth, 33 years old."

    Sang, lot 268.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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