Boldly penned Civil War–dated handwritten endorsement signed as president, “A. Lincoln, Nov. 13. 1861,” penned on the reverse of the second integral pages of a letter written to him by Judge John D. Caton, one page, 5 x 8, September 13, 1861. Lincoln’s autograph endorsement, in full: “Respectfully submitted to the War Department.” Judge Caton’s letter, in part: “Allow me to call your attention to a note…recommending Col. A. H. Redfield for an appointment in the commissary department of the volunteer forces…He is in every respect eminently qualified for such a position.” In fine condition, with unobtrusive repairs to separated intersecting folds (not affecting the bright, clean panel boasting Lincoln’s signature). At the time he wrote this letter Judge Caton was chief justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois, and knew Lincoln from his past involvement in state law and politics—Lincoln was an attorney in 214 cases in the Illinois Supreme Court while Caton was on the bench. An excellent association piece with a superior example of Lincoln’s presidential autograph. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Category Archives: Abraham Lincoln
LS signed by Lincoln, “A. Lincoln,” one page, 5 x 2.75, June 19, 1860. Letter to J. Van Prag complying with an autograph request. In full: “I herewith send you my autograph which you desire.” Matted and framed with an image of Lincoln to an overall size of 12 x 15. Small tears and wear along the right edge, otherwise fine condition. Lincoln had received the presidential nomination just one month earlier at the Republican National Convention in Chicago on May 18, and was en route to electoral victory in November. A wonderfully bold signature from the year of his election to the presidency. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.
Extraordinary war-dated handwritten pass as president, signed “A. Lincoln,” 3.25 x 2, December 28, 1864. In full: “Allow Mr. Gray & one other to pass to City Point & return.” A collector’s notation below the signature identifies Lincoln as the president. In fine condition, with mild soiling. Originates from the estate of Major General Walter E. Brinker, via the estate of Amos Hart Evans. Evans served in the Ninth New Jersey Infantry for three years during the Civil War, beginning in 1861, and rising to the rank of captain in his regiment. City Point was the location of General U. S. Grant’s headquarters throughout the Civil War, and President Lincoln had telegraphed him there on the date this pass was written. A fabulous presidential Lincoln piece from an important date in the war, as Sherman had just completed his ‘march to the sea’ and captured Savannah, Georgia. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Springfield Marine & Fire Insurance Company check, 7.75 x 2.75, filled out and signed by Lincoln as president-elect, “A. Lincoln,” payable to “Self” for $50, November 21, 1860. In fine condition, with a few light creases and expected cancellation cuts (two of which trivially affect the signature, one passing through the very bottom of the “A” and one between the “i” and “n”; the thin slits are such that they do not affect the general appearance of the signature).
Lincoln had been elected to his first term as president just two weeks earlier, on November 6, 1860, and he spent most of this period meeting well-wishers and office seekers, lending support to Republican elections at the state level, and assembling his famous cabinet known as the ‘Team of Rivals.’ On this particular date of November 21, he and Mary Todd boarded a northbound train for Chicago. During the trip he made briefs stops to speak to enthusiastic crowds at Lincoln, Bloomington, and Lexington, but generally avoided politics and simply offered his thanks for support and expressed his hope for the future of the nation. Upon arriving in Chicago, Lincoln traveled to the Tremont House where he was introduced to his vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, a meeting described by the Chicago Journal as ‘cordial in the highest degree.’ Although the Republican National Convention had settled upon the ticket of Lincoln and Hamlin in May, it was not until after the election that they actually met—an oddity unthinkable in today’s day and age. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Dr. Robert K. Stone’s personally-owned and -used black leather medical case, measuring 5 x 2.5 x 1, hand-engraved on the top plate of the front clasp. “R. K. S., M. D.,” with an ornate swirl effect elegantly engraved on the lower portion. The interior is lined with soft purple velvet and the case still contains a syringe and various medical instruments and attachments. Includes an astounding period handwritten and signed original statement of provenance from Dr. Stone himself. In full: “For Thomas, this case was used for my last visit to Prest Lincoln. Please have it, your father, Robert King Stone.”
Robert King Stone, an accomplished doctor and professor of medicine considered ‘the dean of the Washington medical community,’ was President Abraham Lincoln’s physician of choice who tended to his entire family, frequently visiting them because of Mary Todd Lincoln’s frequent migraine headaches and other various illnesses; Stone continued to look after her even after the assassination of her husband, President Lincoln. Dr. Stone also cared for their sons, Tad and Willie Lincoln, during their bouts with typhoid in early 1862; unfortunately, Willie was unable to recover and passed away. Still, Lincoln trusted Dr. Stone and recommended the doctor’s suggestions for wartime field treatments to Surgeon General William A. Hammond. When President Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre on the evening of April 14, 1865, he was first attended to by Dr. Charles Leale, a member of the audience seated just forty feet away from the president’s box. After determining that President Lincoln might not survive a carriage ride back to the White House, Dr. Leale ordered that he be moved across 10th Street to the Petersen House. Robert King Stone arrived at Petersen’s boarding house shortly thereafter, and Dr. Leale ceded control of the situation to him after showing Dr. Stone the wound and describing his initial treatment, which Dr. Stone approved of. As it became apparent that the president’s wound was mortal, Dr. Stone was then tasked with telling Robert Todd Lincoln of his father’s fatal condition. This medical case, which Dr. Stone describes firsthand as being used for his last visit to President Lincoln, is a noteworthy artifact from a seminal moment in American history—worthy of inclusion in an advanced presidential collection.
Bidding for the Auction opens Sep 11, 2014 & ends Sep 17, 2014
President Lincoln’s gray metal eyeglasses, with +1.62 prescription lenses, featuring straight adjustable-length temples and a fixed bridge, with small loops at the earpieces. The frames are marked inside the right temple by the maker, “Fisher, Philad’a.” Many years ago, Raleigh DeGeer Amyx was able to obtain these from Franklin & Co. Opticians of Washington, DC, which outfitted ten presidents for their eyeglasses. At one time the Franklin Company had displayed their presidential collection in downtown Washington for anyone to view, but eventually they were safely tucked away in separate sections of an old optician’s glasses drawer, befitting the back room of a working optical company. Having been acquainted with the owner of Franklin Opticians, Raleigh DeGeer Amyx was able to acquire the contents of this drawer to add to his world-class collection. Glasses are in fine condition. Includes a typed statement on a Franklin & Co. business card certifying the authenticity of the eyeglasses as being those of President Lincoln. Also accompanied by a photocopy of the check President Lincoln used to pay for an eye test and glasses fitting at Franklin & Co. Opticians in 1864. The company had initially been co-founded in Philadelphia by Isaac Heilprin during the 1850s, before relocating to Washington in 1861, establishing the storefront just four blocks from the White House—along with their fine service, it was this close proximity that made Franklin & Co. the favored optician of so many presidents. The check that President Lincoln wrote to Franklin & Co., which is dated May 4, 1864, covered the cost of a pair of steel glasses and case—an important note, as dignitaries generally favored gold frames at much greater expense. This choice is demonstrative of both his humility and personal financial situation—despite holding the nation’s highest office, Abraham Lincoln’s bank account was frequently overdrawn. Knowing this, Heilprin opted to never cash the check, keeping it as a souvenir while also alleviating this small debt—today it is believed to be the only uncashed check written by the president extant.
This rare pair of Lincoln glasses is a wonderful and most intimate historical artifact—President Lincoln required glasses to read, and can easily be envisioned wearing this stately pair. Although not generally imagined wearing glasses, one of the most famous photos of Abraham Lincoln shows the bespectacled president reading with his young son Tad. He is also known to have worn glasses during some of the most important moments of his presidency, particularly when reading speeches and addressing the public. In multiple recollections of his speech at Gettysburg, he is described as wearing glasses similar to these. In 1891, journalist John Russell Young recalled his memories of the speech, writing, ‘From an ancient case he drew a pair of steel-framed spectacles, with bows clasping upon the temples in front of the ears, and adjusted them with deliberation.’ A later book by Henry Ester Jacobs described his actions thus: ‘He drew from his pocket a metallic spectacle case and adjusted a pair of steel glasses near the tip of his nose.’ President Lincoln was also carrying two pairs of gold glasses with him when he was assassinated, one pair matching this prescription of +1.62 and the other prescribed at +2.00; he was also carrying a Franklin & Co. glasses case. These are all held today by the Library of Congress. The example of Abraham Lincoln’s eyeglasses here offered is of the utmost historical interest and appropriate for the personal or institutional collections of the highest distinction.
Bidding for the Auction opens Sep 11, 2014 & ends Sep 17, 2014
Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 14.75 x 18, March 6, 1865. President Lincoln appoints Arthur J. Pritchard as “Assistant Paymaster in the Navy.” Prominently signed at the conclusion by Lincoln and countersigned by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. Handsomely double-matted with a bust image of Lincoln and an information placard and framed to an overall size of 32 x 27. The light green wafer seal is worn but intact. Noticeable intersecting folds and some light soiling and staining (most noticeably along the central vertical fold), otherwise fine condition; Welles’s signature is light but legible, while Lincoln’s signature is a fantastic clean and bold example. A highly desirable naval appointment from an important period—two days after Lincoln’s second inauguration and one month before his assassination—highlighted by his beautiful full signature. Oversized. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.