Rediscovered Lincoln Letter, One of His Last, Up for Auction

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February 19, 2024

One of the last documents ever signed by Abraham Lincoln is up for auction. It had been undiscovered in a desk drawer for many years.

Lincoln Gangewer letter

The document is an approval for an appointment to the Treasury Department for Allen Gangewer, an abolitionist. The date on the document is April 11, 1865, the day that Lincoln gave his last public address and three days before he was fatally shot.

Gangewer was a newspaper editor and then served as private secretary to Salmon Chase, Lincoln's first Secretary of the Treasury and later a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Gangewer also had a hand in founding the National Colored Home, a Washington, D.C., facility that gave aid and shelter to African-Americans who had been enslaved.

The letter had sat in a desk belonging to another man, who recently died. When the man's wife went through the desk, she found the letter.

Auctioning the document will be the Raab Collection, based in Ardmore, Pa. The entity is known for its historical documents, including George Washington's original presidential address, Thomas Jefferson's letter bequeathing his personal library in order to found the Library of Congress, and a contract to noted astrophysicist Stephen Hawking for writing his first book.

The anticipated purchase for the Lincoln letter is $45,000.

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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2023
David White

Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2024
David White