About Collecting Abraham Lincoln Autographs
Abraham Lincoln had an extensive correspondence as lawyer, state legislator, congressman, political activist and senatorial candidate, and he wrote his letters himself at those times. More importantly, both as presidential candidate and president, he perceived that every word that he wrote and said would be scrutinized, dissected and misinterpreted, so felt the need to be very cautious. Thereafter his correspondence no longer contained controversial statements, and tend to be short and deal with the war or government-related matter at hand. Lincoln’s handwriting remained quite similar throughout his life. He always had a propensity for signing “A. Lincoln,” and his letters are always signed that way. But he varied that under two circumstances. As an attorney: “Lincoln and Herndon,” and as president: “Abraham Lincoln.” He never used the name Abe, and in fact hated it.
Lincoln’s most notable personal characteristic was his reserve about himself, which was so pronounced that even his closest friends felt they didn't really know him. Any letter from after his courtships and marriage that gives even a hint of who Lincoln was as a man would be an extraordinary find. Moreover, he is known for his striking economy of words (never using two where one would suffice), and for his great clarity and accuracy of expression.