Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Historical Lincoln, Jefferson documents up for auction

Historical documents dealer and auctioneer Cohasco has the following items up for auction:
  • A group of eight Illinois manuscripts, signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1842, begins just two years after receiving his law license. Other signers include James Matheny, best man at Lincoln's wedding that year, best friend Joshua Speed, and Stephen A. Douglass, future opponent for the Presidency. 
  • A Baltimore reward poster for a successful named escapee via the Underground Railroad, 1857.  In black fugitive Adam's memoir, he described his former master as "a real country ruffian...a great drinker and gambler...." Underground Railroad lore is abundant, but original documents almost never come to market ($8,500-11,500).
  • A battle sword which witnessed Francis Scott Key's "rocket's red glare" in the dawn's early light of Sept. 1814.  From the possession of citizen-soldier John Howlet of Maryland, the sword was in use when he was shot (but survived).  ($1250-1750)
  • Thomas Jefferson signed document protecting America's frontier, 1792, as the first Secretary of State.  His signed Act embraces several firsts in America's history – including the first Presidential Cabinet, and first-ever Congressional investigations. ($28,000-35,000)
  • Civil War newspaper seeking trial of the President "for his numerous unconstitutional acts...The States alone declare who are their citizens." ($75-100)
  • Postcard flown on Russia's ultimate world adventure – their attempted 4,600-mile nonstop Moscow-New York flight, 1939. It crashed in Canada. ($1900-2750)
  • Rare pay receipt for black soldier Cato Negro's service in the Revolutionary War.  The Connecticut freedom fighter likely took his name from the play "Cato" - inspiring Patrick Henry's words, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" ($3900-4500)
The auction ends Jan. 6.

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