1841 Abraham Lincoln Letter
Appraised Value: $75,000 - $125,000 (1997)
$60,000 - $80,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:49)
GUEST: This is a letter that is written to Andrew McCormack, who was my great-great-grandfather. It was written to Abraham Lincoln in 1841. 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 who 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 cannot be that one so true, firm, "and unwavering as you have ever been can for a moment think of such a thing." For Lincoln to write something so emotional shows that he was writing to, first of all, a very good friend and about something that really meant a lot to him. 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.
APPRAISER: What do you think of that?
GUEST: I had no idea. And this belongs to my 18-year-old son right now.
APPRAISER: Well, your 18-year-old son has something very wonderful to keep in a safe deposit box. It's an absolutely wonderful
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