President Lincoln presses War Secretary Stanton to promote a New Jersey colonel

    Abraham Lincoln Autograph Letter Signed. One page of one leaf, 4.75" x 8", Washington, May 24, 1864. President Lincoln writes this letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton with instructions to promote a New Jersey colonel - "the one having best testimonials" - to brigadier general. The text and signature bold and clear. Hinged only at the top at two points to a larger stiff backing for an overall size of 9" x 12". The text and signature are clearly and boldly written. One vertical crease has been repaired. Uneven horizontal toning below the signature; otherwise, lightly age-toned with only very minor soiling. The letter reads in full:

    "Dear Sir, If there be any one or more New-Jersey Colonels commanding Brigades, let the one having best testimonials be nominated for a Brigadier General, if it can, or be soon as it can be, consistently done. Yours truly [signed] A. Lincoln."

    The president was feeling more confident about the outcome of the war by May 1864. In a letter written on the same day to John Brough, he wrote that "Every thing looks exceedingly favorable for us." But the upcoming presidential election was looming in the back of his mind. In the election of 1860, New Jersey was one of the few Northern states to vote for Democrat Stephen Douglas over Lincoln. Though Lincoln handily defeated Douglas (as well as John C. Breckinridge and John Bell) in the presidential election, the loss of New Jersey in 1860 caused the incumbent concerns as the 1864 election neared. (Knowing that Democrats had made strong gains in New Jersey's mid-term state elections of 1862 was equally worrying for the president.) Possibly hoping to strengthen his chances in the Garden State for the upcoming presidential election, the president sends this letter to the War Secretary to promote a New Jersey colonel to brigadier general. Later in August, the Democratic Party nominated George McClellan, a resident of New Jersey. Sure enough, the president lost New Jersey in the November 1864 presidential election, but he handily won the national contest. This letter is not in Roy Basler's Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    9th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,618

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Floor auctions

    Open for bidding: (View All)

    Fine Art
    Ends on 01/30/2018

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 May 12 Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2017 December 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2017 December 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,735,590