DescriptionExtremely Rare Lock of Abraham Lincoln's Hair Housed in a Beautifully Engraved Gold Locket From the Family of a Lincoln Cabinet Member. The substantial lock of hair is sewn to a piece of cloth with a hand-written note, "Lock of Abraham Lincoln's Hair Given to Mary McCormick Cameron." The hair and note are encased in an oval glazed locket. The front of the locket is hand-engraved with an outer border of engine turning and a foliate center and a central American shield with stars and stripes. The back of the locket has a similar design, but with a feathered center and a central cartouche. The locket measures 40 mm wide by 50 mm high with an overall length of 70 mm including the bale. The hair and locket are in exceptional condition with tremendous provenance.
Mary McCormick Cameron was the daughter-in-law of Simon Cameron, Abraham Lincoln's first Secretary of War and political ally. Mary Cameron was married to James Donald Cameron who, like his father, served as Secretary of War, only under President Ulysses S. Grant, and served as United States Senator from Pennsylvania for twenty years. Simon Cameron only served one year in Lincoln's cabinet before he resigned. After Lincoln's death, Cameron became very close to Mary Todd Lincoln. The slain president's widow, deeply concerned with her mountain of debts, called upon Cameron to undertake a campaign to raise money for her and her children. Cameron accepted his charge, but found few of Lincoln's political colleagues inclined to support the mercurial Mrs. Lincoln. The extensive correspondence between Mrs. Lincoln and Simon Cameron provide a striking glimpse into Mrs. Lincoln's desperation.
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