Raab Acquires President Abraham Lincoln’s Newly Discovered, Original Death Announcement, Dated April 15, 1865
The Official Notification to the American People of the Death of Abraham Lincoln, Thought Lost to Time
The telegram, valued at $500,000, has been in the estate of a Civil War General for over a century and has never before offered for sale
Perhaps the only document offered for sale signed from inside the house that night when President Lincoln died
The discovery was covered nationwide, by CNN, the Associated Press, and others
PHILADELPHIA, PA – April 15, 2019 – The Raab Collection, the nation’s leading dealer in important historical documents, announced today that it has discovered one of the most important and powerful original documents in American history: the original notification to the American people of the tragic death of President Abraham Lincoln. The original of this famous document, which brought the news of the President’s passing, was thought lost to time until now. The piece, in the collection of a Civil War general’s family for generations, has never been offered for sale before. It is valued at $500,000.
“This document was the official word to the nation that the President had died,” said Nathan Raab, President of the Raab Collection. “It is truly one of our great finds.”
Historical background: John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln at about 10 pm at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865. The President was rushed to what is now called the Petersen house, where his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, and close friend and chief telegraph officer, Thomas Eckert, stood watch over the dying President. Upon President Lincoln’s death, Stanton dictated a momentous telegram and Eckert wrote it down, signing Stanton’s name as head of the War Department. Eckert then gave it to a runner to take to the War Department telegraphers. It read: “Abraham Lincoln died this morning at 22 minutes after seven.” This is the original of that telegram, completely in the hand of Eckert, then sent on to General Dix, who was responsible for telling the press. This document is how the nation learned of the death of Lincoln and its text is famous.
About The Raab Collection: The Raab Collection has handled many of the most important historical documents to reach the market and worked with the families of famous Americans in the sale and preservation of their family treasures, among them Neil Armstrong, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ronald Reagan. Nathan Raab, a member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, is also a contributor to Forbes.com.