A Tampa man has made a potentially extraordinary discovery in a stack of old photos he purchased for eight dollars. Buried in the images was a letter with what appears to be the signature of Abraham Lincoln.
It's dated 1858, almost four years before the Civil War, and contains a short and cryptic note to someone named Henry Clay Whitney.
The national spotlight is on a key senate race in Illinois where a powerful and pro-slavery Democrat is being challenged for his seat by an undistinguished Republican, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's battle that summer determines the course of his career and ultimately the fate of the nation.
Is this letter a forgery? And what does it refer to?
History Detectives heads to the Land of Lincoln to investigate the future president’s political calculations and correspondence at a pivotal time in his career.
- Related Investigation Preston Brook's Riding Crop Was this riding crop a gift from Jefferson Davis as a reward for attacking a political opponent?
- Related Investigation 3D Cuban Missile Crisis Did this portable projection screen help save the Free World?
- Also in Season 5 Jefferson Pledge Did the transformation of the nation's public education system begin with this $200 pledge?
- Also with Elyse Luray 1775 Almanac What do these crumbling pages reveal about divided loyalties during the American Revolution?
- Also in Civil War: 1850-1877 Army Muster Roll What can a Continental Army muster roll tell us about this remarkable African-American soldier?
- Also with Elyse Luray Sideshow Babies Was the owner of this cup once a four-pound sideshow exhibit?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.