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    Description

    Civil War: Presentation Lap Desk of John Albion Andrew, War Governor of Massachusetts and Leading Abolitionist. The desk, 16" wide x 9.75" deep x 6" high, is rosewood with a brass plaque and mounts. The plaque is engraved "To / John A. Andrews / from the Pupils of Rev. Mr. Stearns / Sabbath School". Included are two large, 3.5", ornate antique pen nibs with a metal collar stamped "Black No 808F Swan Quill", along the side in copper-plate script is "J Gillott"; a small round cardboard box with "Charles Albion Andrew / 1850" in ink on the top and "Charly A. Andrew / May 1850" in pencil on the inside lid; and, a carte de visite of "Ex Gov. John A. Andrew", 2.5" x 4". Inside the desk is a wonderful document that reflects Andrew's abolitionist beliefs, 7.75" x 7.75" on partially printed Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department stationary dated September 2, 1864, with a quotation from the anonymous poem "The Song of the Forge" boldly transcribed and signed by Andrew that reads:

    The Sword! - A name of dread; yet when
    Upon the freeman's thigh 'tis bound
    While for his alter and hearth,
    While for land that gave him birth,
    The war-drums roll, the trumpets sound -
    How sacred is it then!

    John A. Andrews was a graduate of Bowdoin College who, once admitted to the bar, entered politics as a Whig and committed abolitionist. 1848, he helped organize the Free Soil Party, which opposed the expansion of slavery. In the mid-1850s, following the failure of the Free Soil Party, Andrew joined the Republican Party. Following John Brown's 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, Andrew participated in organizing legal aid for Brown in Massachusetts. In 1860, he was elected governor of Massachusetts by a huge margin. Andrew anticipated the national split that followed Abraham Lincoln's election. When Andrew took office on January 2, 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, he immediately began to ready the Massachusetts militia for duty. When President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 men to defend the capitol, Andrew was the first governor to dispatch troops to Washington. In April 1862 he began working closely with Frederick Douglass to get federal support for using Black men as uniformed soldiers in the Union army. As governor he authorized the formation of two regiments of Black infantry, the 54th and 55th Massachusetts, composed of blacks from the state, as well as Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. Andrew became one of the leading state executives at the Loyal War Governors' Conference which supported Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the national war effort. He left office in 1866 and died the following year.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,432

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