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    Description

    Lincoln Deathbed Relics. A copy of Maunsell B. Field, Memories of Many Men and of Some Women (New York: 1874), 8vo, original gilt lettered, black-decorated brick cloth, first edition. Field, a lawyer, diplomat and judge, was an assistant secretary of the treasury under Lincoln. In writing here about the closing scene of Abraham Lincoln's life, Field says (pp. 325-26): "[T]he President's breathing . . . became faint and low. At intervals it altogether ceased. . . . I was standing directly opposite his face, with my watch in my hand. At last, at just twenty-two minutes past seven, he ceased to breathe. . . . Dr. Gurley dropped upon his knees by the bedside and uttered a fervent prayer. . . . When . . . most of the persons assembled began . . . to withdraw . . I . . . with a few others, remained. We closed the eyes completely, and placed silver coins upon them, and with a pocket-handkerchief we tied up the jaw, which had already begun to fall. Mr. Stanton threw open the two windows of the room." Mounted inside the front cover of the book is a silver 1861 quarter-dollar, one of the coins placed upon Lincoln's eyelids to keep them closed, and mounted inside the rear cover is a large portion of the linen handkerchief used to close and tie his jaws. Field gave these two relics (and presumably the book itself) to Judge Julius Rockwell of Massachusetts, who had served in the 30th Congress with Lincoln, 1847-49. On the front free end-paper is a handwritten note: "The relics presented to my father by Mr. Field in 1868 are contained herein", signed by Francis Williams Rockwell (lawyer, banker and congressman). The latter's bookplate is affixed inside the front cover, and he has written some notes on the front blank.

    Provenance
    : Field to Rockwell; James Tait Goodrich, bookseller, Englewood, N.J., 1989.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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