Description

    Civil War Autograph Album. A fantastic collection of Civil War era signatures compiled by Charles A. Munger. Munger's wife has written on the second front flyleaf: "My husband, Charles A. Munger had this book made for him and collected most of the Autographs while in the Civil War, after he had been detailed by the War Department, as clerk in the Adjutant General's Office. He enlisted in 117th Regiment N. Y. Volunteers Aug. 8th 1862. At Waterville, N. Y." Beautifully bound in brown leather with gilt titles and decoration, it contains approximately 185 names, divided into sections with titles such as "Executive," "Cabinet," "Army," etc. done by hand in stunning calligraphy.

    Of special interest are the signatures of President Abraham Lincoln, signed "A. Lincoln," and Vice President Andrew Johnson. The fact that Johnson has signed as vice president in lieu of Lincoln's first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, suggests that the signatures of the president and vice president, appearing on the same page, were placed sometime after March 1865 and before Lincoln assassination six weeks later. Research has disclosed only two other examples of Lincoln and Johnson signing on the same document, both of which are held in a private collection of one of the foremost Lincoln collectors.

    Each member of Lincoln's cabinet has placed their signature including: Secretary of State William H. Seward; William P. Fessenden, Lincoln's second secretary of the treasury; Edwin M. Stanton, secretary of war; Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles; Secretary of the Interior John P. Usher; Postmaster General William Dennison; Hugh McCulloch, Lincoln's third secretary of the treasury; and Attorney General James Speed.

    Other government signatures include Salmon P. Chase, chief justice of the Supreme Court and four associate justices: James M. Wayne, Sam F. Miller, Noah H. Swayne, and Stephen J. Field; forty-eight members of the U.S. Senate and twenty-seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed above their home state; and two members of the "Diplomatic Corps," French Minister Charles F. Francois, Marquis de Montholon signed "Le Ministre de France Montholon" and British Ambassador Frederick W. A. Bruce.

    Not all the signatures are those of politicians, however. Several prominent abolitionists and social reformers have also signed and include: John B. Gough; Henry Ward Beecher, younger brother of fellow abolitionist and writer, Harriet Beecher Stowe; Charles H. Parkhurst; Anna E. Dickinson; Henry Varley; Ira D. Sankey, who served in the Union Army during the first years of the war; and Dwight L. Moody.

    The largest collection of names by far belongs to prominent members of the War Department and commanders in the United States Army and Navy. A total of eighty-three, they include Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Henry W. Halleck, Ambrose E. Burnside, Winfield Scott Hancock, Robert Anderson, Oliver Otis Howard, Benjamin F. Butler, Philip H. Sheridan, George C. Meade, Lew Wallace, et al. as well as Admirals David G. Farragut, David D. Porter, Charles H. Davis, Joseph Smith, and J. A. Dahlgren. Some of the signatures of army personnel are cut signatures affixed to the pages and include Joseph Hooker, Nathaniel P. Banks, John C. Fremont, William S. Rosecrans, Irwin McDowell, et al. and Naval Commander William B. Cushing.

    The signature of George Armstrong Custer is of note in that this is the only example that we have come across where Lincoln and Custer have signed the same album. This is the largest, boldest Custer signature we have ever encountered, a "10" by any standard!

    An assemblage of names of this sort rarely comes along. Each signature is bold and very bright and overall the book is in great condition!


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    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    8th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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