Lot 30: Abraham Lincoln - Civil War–dated handwritten endorsement
8th March 2017
Civil War–dated handwritten endorsement, signed as president, “A. Lincoln,” dated September 9, 1861, on the reverse of the second integral page of a letter originally written to Gideon Welles by University of Maryland founder Congressman Charles B. Calvert, one page, 6.5 x 8, September 5, 1861. Lincoln’s autograph endorsement, in full: “Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of the Navy, with the request that this can have a careful consideration.” Calvert’s initial request, in part: “Permit me especially to call your attention to the claim of Lieut. G. E. Arnold for an appointment in the Marine Corps. Lieut. Arnold was one of the first to come forward at the call of the President, to defend the Capitol.” Intersecting folds with expertly repaired partial separations, one vertical fold noticeably passing through the left side of Lincoln’s endorsement, and toned mounting remnants to the blank portion above the endorsement, otherwise fine condition. At the time Lincoln wrote this endorsement, he was struggling to keep Maryland—a complexly divided border state—within the Union. Geographically, culturally, and economically, the state was quite literally stuck in the middle of the North and the South. In April of 1861, a group of secessionists and Southern sympathizers had attacked Union troops in the Baltimore Riot; in response, General Benjamin Butler and a thousand Union soldiers took the city, declaring martial law and arresting dozens of state and local officials to quell talk of secession. Within the year, with Federal troops occupying Baltimore completely and the remaining pro-South citizens crossing the border to fight with Virginia, the state’s position in the Union was finally secured. A highly desirable piece from the Civil War president, endorsing the request of a Unionist congressman at this critical time—certainly anxious to bolster his support in the complex border state.
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