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    Description

    [Abraham Lincoln]: Extensive Archive from Papers of James Rowan O'Beirne. Large group of documents and imprints related to the pursuit, capture and death of John Wilkes Booth, as well as the distribution of reward monies, all part of the O'Beirne papers. Includes: "House of Representatives Ex. Doc. No. 86 Awards for the Capture of Booth" disbound booklet together with a hand-written list of seven soldiers entitled to reward money, three letters written by O'Beirne on Kirkwood House writing paper (one dated April 16th requesting the use of a tug boat to take O'Beirne "down the River a short distance", one dated April 17th asking Frederick Seward to "send to me at this place your colored boy who can recognize the man who committed the assassination at your residence. Let him come down at once to see if he can identify a man whom I have arrested", one undated letter related to Room #56 "directly over the President's at Kirkwood House" and its unknown occupant the night before the assassination), a group of twelve [12] letters from the period of the pursuit dealing with logistics in the endeavor (providing a tug boat, ordering troops from the 13th Michigan Light Artillery to assist O'Beirne, request for a compass to be delivered to O'Beirne suitable for "tracking through woods" together with the map found in Atzerodt's room at the Kirkwood House, various War Department orders including one example for three companies of infantry to report to O'Beirne at Port Tobacco plus two companies drawn from the 22nd U.S. Colored Troops, a request from O'Beirne for further news "of a positive character as to the tracks or trail of Booth & Herold in the swamp. Please let me know as it will guide me in my course", an April 24, 1865 letter from "book agent" R. T. Brown advising O'Beirne to search for Herold at the Port Tobacco dry goods store of Mr. Paget (some minor restoration not affecting text), two pages of typewritten biographical information including one page written on the back of "Headquarters Medal of Honor Legion" letterhead, twelve letters or imprints related to the distribution of reward monies (including: two January 4, 1865 letters appointing O'Beirne as Provost Marshal, a May 8, 1865 letter requesting reimbursement for lost livestock and equipment expended in the pursuit, a May 5th receipt for the items referred to in the aforementioned letter, a May 9, 1865 letter from a lady who loaned her pet saddle horse to O'Beirne thanking him for his safe return, a form authorizing O'Beirne to rejoin his regiment after completing his duties as Provost Marshal, a letter directing O'Beirne to turn over the contents of his office to Major H. R. Rathbone (ironically, the same man who was in the Presidential Box at Ford's Theatre when Lincoln was assassinated), a September 25, 1865 O'Beirne ALS to President Andrew Johnson regarding possible appointment as Deputy Marshal of D.C. declaring: "The whole country is going in for you without reservation. The words you spoke to me on the night of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln are becoming true as Gospel", an 1867 letter from E. D. Townsend transmitting reports submitted by O'Beirne during the pursuit as well as telegrams sent by Samuel Beckwith, a "return" for equipage from January to April 1865, a similar form regarding ordnance, two 1909 and 1910 letters from the Society of The United States Military Telegraph Corps regarding the accuracy of reward claims, forwarding copies of dispatches sent by Samuel Beckwith, signed by David Homer Bates who was a cipher operator in the War Department telegraph office in 1865, a Samuel Beckwith ALS dated May 8, 1866 requesting a meeting with O'Beirne at the Judiciary Committee Room to discuss strategy in the effort to convince the House Committee on Claims of the validity of theirs (Captain Samuel H. Beckwith worked mostly with General Grant, but also at the War Department telegraph office and was the first to transmit news of Booth's whereabouts, leading to his apprehension), plus a five-page typed transcript dated 1911 of an article by Beckwith titled: "Pursuit of Lincoln's Assassins. Memories of 1865." This is a very extensive archive. Unfortunately, we are unable to picture all of it, but trust the posted images and descriptions will provide the key elements. Ex: Sang Collection (Sotheby Parke Bernet, April 1978, lot #200).





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    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    24th Saturday
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