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    Bloodstained Half of Abraham Lincoln's Shirt Collar. Doubled-over piece of white cloth, about 1.5" x 8", considerably soiled and bloodstained, with one particularly sizeable brownish-red bloodstain at one side. Matted, under glass in a simple black wood frame about 8" x 15". The detachable collar fell off as Dr. Charles A. Leale, the first physician to reach him, struggled to remove the president's shirt and find his wound. Not long afterward, Lt. Newton Ferree of the 157th Ohio entered the box and discovered the collar. Accompanied by Ferree's pocket diary for 1865, about 3.5" x 4.25", with flexible, tuck-flap closure binding. The diary has entries from 1 February to 22 May; the entry for the assassination night indicates that Ferree had followed a torchlight procession to Edwin Stanton's house, where the secretary was serenaded and made a speech. When the procession moved off, "We went . . . to the Falstaff House . . . [About] half-past ten o'clock . . . I went out the front door. I then heard someone over at Ford's Theatre cry out fight. I run over and went in . . . [and] found the audience all on their feet crying out to hang some one. I . . . jumped on the stage and then learned that President Lincoln had been assassinated. I then started to go in the box where the President was but met five or six men carrying him out. I then went in . . . and found it one pool of blood. I picked up the collar which had been torn from the President's neck. . . . When I heard of the President being assassinated it almost set me wild." The balance of the entry discusses his restless night, including a return to the vicinity of Ford's "to hear if the President was still living. He was . . . but died a few minutes after I arrived. . . . It commenced raining a few minutes before this and continued raining all day . . . I . . . spent the day wandering gloomily around the streets. By noon the whole city was draped in mourning." With sad sarcasm, he comments "The South is avenged. Sic simper tyrannis." Together with a framed ensemble of copy photos of Ferree at various ages; a file of miscellaneous related material; and a detailed, notarized affidavit signed by his daughter-in-law, Erna C. Ferree, one page, 8.5" x 13", Pinellas Co., Fla., 25 August 1946, which touches upon his personal history and tells the story of the collar, obviously as she remembered it; she erroneously conflates its discovery with an event some hours later, when in company with his friend William Kent, Ferree returned to Ford's and, incredibly, they discovered on the floor the single-shot Deringer Booth had used to shoot Lincoln. A good contemporaneous account of the scene at Ford's Theatre, coupled with what must be the finest single "blood relic" that exists.

    : collar and affidavit, Turner, lot 88; diary acquired by Dr. Lattimer from The Scriptorium, Los Angeles, Cal., 1969.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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