Description

    President Lincoln pardons a private convicted of manslaughter

    Abraham Lincoln Presidential Pardon Signed. Four integral pages written on pages one and two, docketed on page four, 10.5" x 17", Washington, D.C., September 27, 1861. The document is a very scarce presidential pardon - one of only 343 - granted by President Abraham Lincoln. The recipient of the pardon was Private John H. Murphy, who in the June Session of the Criminal Court in the District of Columbia was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in the District of Columbia penitentiary. The pardon describes Murphy as "a young man of good moral character and peaceable disposition, who had entered the military service of the United States for the defense of the Capital and government thereof, and there is reason to believe that he committed this offence under a mistaken sense of duty and not from depravity of heart." Although the document does not detail Murphy's crime, it does describe the tremendous public outpouring of support for a presidential pardon, which included "the Jurors who convicted the said John H. Murphy have unanimously recommended his pardon," as well as "eighteen members of the Board of Aldermen and City Council, the Register and Collector of the City of Washington, together with nearly a thousand citizens of the District of Columbia." The pardon retains the embossed paper seal of the United States and is countersigned by Secretary of State William Seward. The president's signature, "Abraham Lincoln," is strong and bold. Modest splitting at the folds and some paper loss to pages three and four (not affecting the signatures). An extremely desirable Lincoln document.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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