The 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his tragic assassination in April 1865, Abraham Lincoln is known to be one of America’s greatest heroes because of his unique appeal. He successfully led his country through its greatest constitutional, military and moral crisis, the American Civil War, preserving Union while ending slavery, and promoting economic and financial modernization. His distinctively human and humane personality and historical role as emancipator of the slaves creates a legacy that endures. Now, Abraham Lincoln’s autographed letter that shows his early attempts at compensated emancipation is up for grabs as the highlight of the Heritage’s auction of historical manuscripts in Beverly Hills on 4th and 5th October, and is expected to fetch a price of $150,000. Also, we have earlier seen the sale of American Historical memorabilia which included the President Abraham Lincoln’s manuscript proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, besides the sale of Lincoln’s watch from his personal collection.
Signed ‘A Lincoln’, this brief letter actually displays the President’s one of the early attempts to free the U.S. slaves. Dated March 5, 1982, the letter is addressed to secretary of state William H Seward and reads in full; “My dear sir please summon the cabinet to meet me here at 7 o’ clock this evening.
Historically, in the two-years before President Abraham Lincoln signed the iconic Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, he tried numerous strategies to make the idea more agreeable to slaveholders. And, one of the policy was of compensated emancipation, in which government would in-effect buy the slaves, and then let them free.
Back on 5th March, 1862, on the night before Lincoln addressed Congress to propose the idea, he called a Cabinet meeting to discuss it. And, for that he signed letter to Secretary of State William Seward, in which President requests that Seward gather the cabinet.
However, recently an original copy of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation garnered an impressive amount of $2.1m in an auction in New York.