University Archives

Description:

Abraham Lincoln, his Cabinet, Senators, Congressman, Over 180 Sign an Album Owned By Correspondent of Salmon P. Chase, Signed During Crucial Civil War Period

LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. Album Signed, Yours truly / A. Lincoln”. Approximately 224 pp., with signatures on 65 pp., 5" x 7.5”. Wear to cover and edges; gilding on page, interior clean and tight; Very Good.

This fascinating autograph album, compiled by NY Business man John D. Wilson who according to the Library of Congress was recommended to President Lincoln as a United States collector of taxes by well known merchants from the state of New York, includes signatures of 180 members of the Lincoln administration and Congress. The incredible book contains the autographs of President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, future Secretary of Treasury William P. Fessenden, Assistant Secretary of Treasury and the man behind the Lincoln Funeral George Harrington, Attorney General Edward Bates, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and Secretary of the Interior Caleb B. Smith, future Secretary of Interior James Harlan and approximately 170 members of Congress.

The Thirty-seventh Congress had 50 senators and 183 members of the House of Representatives, so this collection represents the vast majority of the members. Prominent individuals in the Thirty-seventh Congress who signatures appear in this volume include future Vice President Schuyler Colfax, future Secretary of State John Sherman, Charles Sumner, Lyman Trumbull, John Sherman, John Carlile, James Nesmith, Horatio Seymour, Thaddeus Stevens, future Attorney General John J. Crittenden and probably many untold signatures we have not identified that hold significant value. It also includes an additional envelope with 8 cut autographs including those of Presidential Candidate Stephen Douglass, William Seward, and Horatio Alger.

We assume based on a dated signature that this book was signed in the beginning of March of 1863, during the heat of the civil war. Lincoln certainly had a lot on his mind at that time. On March 3rd, a day before the only dated signature featured in the book, a proclamation appointing a National Fast Day was adopted, and signed by Lincoln on March 30th.

We’ve positively identified the owner of this book who was a correspondent of Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Chase (a copy of the letter with his distinctive signature which matches is shown here).

An identical book sold for $37,500 in University Archives' May 2021 Auction.

The Autograph Album comes with a JSA Certificate of Authentication with certification number BB98432

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses. 

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