A Newly Discovered Gift of President Abraham Lincoln

A Newly Discovered Gift of President Abraham Lincoln to The Sick & Wounded Soldiers of The Civil War Up For Sale at Raab

Given for auction at the largest fundraiser for the troops of the war and valued at $35,000, it is signed by President Lincoln and his famed Team of Rivals

PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 12, 2019 – The Raab Collection, the nation’s leading dealer in important historical documents, announced today that it is unveiling and offering for sale an original piece of history, signed by President Abraham Lincoln and his Team of Rivals, and given to be auctioned off in New York City in 1864 to benefit the sick and wounded soldiers of the Civil War. This newly discovered document is valued at $35,000.

“This is a remarkable find, which adds to our knowledge of President Lincoln’s charitable character and is a reminder that the President recognized his function as the Commander but also the Healer in Chief” said Nathan Raab, principal at The Raab Collection and author of the upcoming non-fiction book, The Hunt for History (Scribner, March 2020).

Historical background: In 1861, Congress created The United States Sanitary Commission, a civilian organization dedicated to helping sick and wounded soldiers that would work with the War Department and Medical Bureau. President Lincoln signed the legislation on June 13. The Sanitary Commission did not receive funding from the federal government and its work was supported by donations of cash and supplies. In late 1861 the new organization was actively looking for seed money. In 1864, organizers in New York aimed at creating a fundraiser larger and bigger than had ever been done before. They called it the Metropolitan Fair and it broke all fundraising records. This was the grandest event in New York City between Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and the ticker tape parade for Charles Lindbergh that brought out millions of people.

On January 29, President Lincoln’s secretary received a handwritten request from one of the event organizers. And on January 31 and February 1, 1864, President Lincoln and his entire Cabinet gave their autographs to be auctioned to benefit the event. Signing were President Lincoln, Secretary of State William Seward, Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase, Secretary of the Interior J.P. Usher of Indiana, Secretary of War Edwin. M. Stanton, Navy Secretary Gideon Welles, and Postmaster General Montgomery Blair.

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, 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. To learn more visit www.raabcollection.com or follow @raabcollection on Twitter. He is the author of the upcoming hardcover non-fiction book, The Hunt for History (Scribner, March 2020).

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