Description

    Abraham Lincoln Autograph Letter Signed as President Two Days Before Civil War Begins. One page, 5" x 7.5", "Executive Mansion," Washington, D.C., April 10, 1861. Docketed on verso. As tensions mounted in Charleston Harbor and Union and Confederate forces prepared for battle at Fort Sumter, newly elected President Lincoln was required to concern himself with many matters of state, including granting military commissions and political appointments. Here, President Lincoln writes to U.S. Attorney General Edward Bates regarding two such appointments.

    In full: "Dear Sir, Hon. John F. Potter, now present, informs me that the entire Wisconsin delegation in Congress, except Senator Howe, have agreed upon John B.D. Coggswell [sic], for District Attorney, and D. C. Jackson for Marshal, in that state. Therefore, please send me commissions accordingly. Yours truly, A. Lincoln."

    While attempting to put his new political house in order, President Lincoln was intensely focused on events unfolding in Charleston Harbor. Six days prior to writing this letter, Lincoln learned that supplies at Fort Sumter were low, and ordered merchant vessels, escorted by the U.S. Navy, to being additional food, supplies, and ammunition to those who had been under siege at the fort for many months. In response to this planned relief action, on April 9th the Confederate government voted to attack Fort Sumter, in hopes of forcing a surrender before relief supplies could be delivered. Meanwhile, President Lincoln attended to the less pressing issues on his desk, as evidenced by this letter. Two days later, the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter began, bringing four years of hardship and bloodshed known as the American Civil War.

    This handsome letter is in fine condition, and has been mounted to a larger paper border with overall dimensions of 6" x 9" Accompanied by a matted steel engraving of President Lincoln that measures 8" x 10". An excellent addition to any presidential or Civil War collection!


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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