Description

    [Abraham Lincoln] Lincoln's Bloodstained Shirt Cuff, With the Period Diary of its Owner, John T. Farnham. The relic itself is a rounded-edge cuff, 9.5" x 4", holed for cuff buttons; it is rather soiled, and spattered in a few spots with small reddish-brown drops of blood. Farnham, a clerk in the Adjutant General's office, has written across it on one side, in ink: "This cuff was cut from the shirt worn by Abraham Lincoln when assassinated at Ford's Theatre April 14th 1865 by J. Wilkes Booth".

    Together with Farnham's pocket diary, about 3" x 5" inches, and a half-inch thick, bound in flexible brown leather. Signed on the front free endpaper in pencil and noted, in ink, as being his "Field Diary 1864 Oct. 10th to June 21st 1865." Many entries are densely written. On April 14 he notes going to see "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp" (unbeknownst to him, Taddie Lincoln was also in the audience, while his parents attended Ford's). "A panic was caused...by the announcement that the President had been assassinated...(shot in the head) with the assassin escaping... A desperate tragedy, and the audience left Grover's before the play ended. I went to Ford's....Mr. L. had been taken across street to private house, insensible. A crowd stood in waiting, in bad humor with rebels. Excited. At 11-1/2 the crowds were dispersed... Saturday 15th. Rain all day and the heavens are clothed in black... [S]aw hearse pass taking the President's body to the White House to be embalmed... Bells toll and crepe is hung on most buildings..." His entry for the 18th mentions running into "Lieut. Genl. Grant, alone. He looked sad and I only recognized him by the three stars on his shoulders... [P]roceeded to White House where thousands were waiting to get in. Passed into East Room and viewed hastily and unsatisfactorily the face of Mr. Lincoln in his splendid coffin... The features looked rather painful and a white powder had been sprinkled on the face. A sad scene." On May 18th, Farnham reveals that he "called on Miss Coleman who gave me as a relic of A. Lincoln, a cuff cut from the shirt he wore when assassinated. I was glad to get the relic." His entries for April 14-15 have a few simple hand-drawn mourning rules. Moderate wear, but basically fine. Exceptional Lincoln memorabilia, worthy of further research.

    Provenance:
    Farnham heirs to King V. Hostick, Springfield, Ill.; to Dr. Lattimer.




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    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,328

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