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    1841 Abraham Lincoln Letter

    Appraised Value:

    $75,000 - $125,000

    Appraised on: June 28, 1997

    Appraised in: Cincinnati, Ohio

    Appraised by: Marsha Malinowski

    Category: Books & Manuscripts

    Episode Info: Fame & Fortune (#1016)

    Originally Aired: May 29, 2006

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Letter
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $75,000 - $125,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:28)


    Appraised By:

    Marsha Malinowski

    Appraisal Transcript:

    GUEST 1: This is a letter that is written to Andrew McCormack, who was my great-great-grandfather. And it was written by Abraham Lincoln in 1841. And that letter has been passed through the generations down to me. And then I passed it on to my first son, and then he has since passed it on to my daughter's son.

    APPRAISER: I don't think I've ever seen an Abraham Lincoln letter of such feeling. It is absolutely one of the most emotional Lincoln letters you'll ever see. You always think of Lincoln as being so calm and steady and sedate. Even the handwriting in this letter is agitated and almost angry. Obviously Lincoln was writing to someone that was a close friend, because he signs it just "Lincoln." Not "A. Lincoln," not "Abraham Lincoln." He was writing to a very good friend and he was also writing very much from the heart. Lincoln is writing to your great-grandfather about a man by the name of William Walters, who was up for reelection in 1841. And Abraham Lincoln did not like him one little bit, because one of his dear friends was running against him-- Simeon Francis. And Abe Lincoln wanted Simeon Francis to win this reelection, not the person that, apparently, your great-grandfather was going to be voting for. So let me just read a few of the lines here. "I have just learned with utter astonishment that you have some notion of voting for Walters. This certainly cannot be true. It could not be that one so true, firm and unwavering as you have ever been, can for a moment think of such a thing." A Lincoln letter of an early date-- from January 1841. It's not dated, but we're able to find out when Walters was going to be reelected and the context of the letter. The condition of the letter is absolutely pristine. It still has the original folds-- just as crisp as they can be-- from when it was put in the envelope. Something like this would be in the ballpark of $75,000 to $125,000 at auction.

    GUEST 2: Whoo.

    APPRAISER: What do you think of that?

    GUEST 1: Fantastic.

    GUEST 2: I had no idea.

    APPRAISER: And you're keeping it...

    GUEST 2: And this belongs to my 18-year-old son right now, so...

    APPRAISER: Well, your 18-year-old son has something very wonderful to keep in the safe deposit box. It's an absolutely wonderful piece of Americana, and you should be so proud to have it.

    GUEST 2: We are.

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