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    Description

    "Col. Ellsworth the Flag He Took Down and the Oil Cloth Stained with his Blood", is the period ink script notation on the 2 7/8" X 3 7/8" page in this pre Civil War "Album". Attached to the page is a 3/4" X 1 3/4" swatch or red wool bunting and a triangular shaped 3/8" X 5/8" piece of oil cloth (linoleum). Remarkably on the opposite are clearly the blood stains transferred from the piece of oil cloth from being pressed in the book for these many years. The album itself probably dates to C. 1835 and on the first pages there are autographs with that date. On pages subsequent to the Ellsworth entry there are a number of Civil War period bust portraits of men and women, all about postage stamp size, pasted one to a page. The owner of the album was clearly a "Mrs. Gordon". While nothing further is known of "Mrs. Gordon" she is certainly worthy of detailed and aggressive research through census records etc. to determine her possible involvement with the Marshall House. The album is 3" X 4 1/4" with blue boards and red quarter leather decorated with gilt embossing, along with "Album" in gilt on the spine. The front cover is separated and there are some spine chips, else undamaged and intact.
    Lincoln referred to Ellsworth, who only stood 5' 6", as "the greatest little man he'd ever met". Ellsworth studied law in Lincoln's office, helped Lincoln with the Campaign of 1860 and followed him to Washington in 1861. On April 15, 1861, when Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers, Ellsworth raised, and assumed command of, the 11th New York Vol. Inf. "Ellsworth's Zouaves".
    On May 24, 1861, the day after Virginia seceded, Lincoln saw a large Confederate flag flying prominently in Alexandria, Va., which Ellsworth promptly offered to retrieve. The flag was flying on The Marshall House Inn and Ellsworth, along with four of his men, went upstairs to cut down the flag. As Ellsworth descended the stairs, with the flag in his possession, he was confronted by the owner, James W. Jackson, who killed him with a shotgun blast. Jackson was immediately dispatched by Frances Brownell of the 11th who had accompanied Ellsworth.
    Lincoln, who viewed Ellsworth very much like a son, ordered his body brought to the White House, where it lay in state in the East Room. There is little question that Ellsworth's heroic death did much to fan the flames of war in the North, with the 44th New York Infantry adopting the moniker "Ellsworth's Avengers"
    Although we have handle a number of Ellsworth associated artifacts through the years this is certainly the most moving and important example we have ever catalogued.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,085

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