Mastro Spring 2007
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election with 180 electoral votes, with Michigan's six electoral votes going to Lincoln. Four months after the president's inauguration, Michigan's two Republican U.S. Senators, Zachariah Chandler and Kinsley S. Bingham, urged President Lincoln to appoint Arthur Edwards the supervising Inspector of steamboats, headquartered in Detroit. Offered here is a superb letter handwritten by President Lincoln in the Executive Mansion on July 15, 1861, to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, informing him that "The two Michigan Senators press me to appoint Arthur Edwards ... and unless you know some reason to the contrary, which is not known to me, let the appointment be made, at once." It is evident that Lincoln wants to please the two Michigan Republicans, telling Chase that he is being pressed to make this appointment, concluding that not only should the appointment be made, but it "be made at once." Bingham, the first Republican governor of Michigan, had campaigned actively for Lincoln in 1860. Chandler was opposed to any compromise with the South and a day after Lincoln wrote this letter, he wrote to his wife that Beauregard's forces would "run like cowards" at the sight of the Union Army. Six days after this letter was written, Chandler was almost captured by the Confederates as he witnessed the First Battle of Bull Run. In 1861, he became a member of the newly created Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War formed to investigate Union military setbacks. During the Civil War, steamboats were used to move large numbers of troops and equipment long distances. Since duty was collected on the amount of steamboat tonnage, the appointments of steamboat inspectors went through the Treasury Department. Although the background of Lincoln's appointee has been lost to history, our research has uncovered that in 1846, there was a Captain Arthur Edwards who founded the Detroit & Cleveland Steamboat Company in Trenton. Michigan. This may be the same "Arthur Edwards" who, 15 years later, was recommended for appointment in this letter by President Lincoln. The letter has one vertical and two horizontal folds, far removed from Lincoln's "10" signature. It is docketed on the verso of the integral leaf by Salmon P. Chase: "President/July 15. '61/Can Arthur Edwards be/appointed Supervising Inspr." Three years later, President Lincoln appointed Chase Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Measuring 4-5/8" x 7", in virtually Mint condition, this pristine, one-page, Lincoln presidential letter would make a splendid addition to any autograph collection and is ideal for framing and display. LOA from Steve Grad & Zach Rullo and John Reznikoff/PSA DNA.
Abraham Lincoln 1861 Handwritten Letter - Under Pressure! - Appointing an Inspector of Steamboats
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