1865 Abraham Lincoln Signed Handwritten Pardon of a Confederate Soldier - Signed Just One Month Before His Death!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $16,590
Rare handwritten pardon, dated March 6, 1865, signed by Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), sixteenth President of the United States. The small sheet of paper, which has been scripted in black ink, entirely in Lincoln's hand, reads: "Let this man take the oath of Dec. 8. 1863 + be discharged." It has been signed "A. Lincoln" and is dated "March 6. 1865." Both the text and Lincoln's signature are boldly penned, grading "9/10." With this handwritten decree Lincoln officially pardoned a Confederate prisoner of war. The oath referenced here is contained in Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, issued on December 8, 1863. That proclamation paved the way for Reconstruction after the war and allowed for the speedy repatriation of Confederate citizens so that they could quickly rebuild their local and state governments. The oath reads in full:
I,____ _____, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by congress, or by decision of the supreme court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the supreme court. So help me God.
The offered pardon dates just one month prior to the official surrender of the Confederacy on April 9, 1865, and Lincoln's assassination five days later on April 14th. This is one of only a small number of these Lincoln pardons we have seen, most of which are only signed by Lincoln. This example is all the more rare and extraordinary for the fact that Lincoln took the time to write the pardon personally. As such, it represents not only a remarkable and highly desirable Lincoln signed Civil War piece, but also one of the last documents Lincoln ever signed. The blank sheet of paper (3.25 x 3 inches) displays a few minor surface blemishes and is in Excellent to Mint condition. It has been mounted (most likely by means of adhesive) and framed together with an engraved portrait image of Lincoln. Total dimensions: 13.5 x 21.5 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $4,000+. SOLD FOR $16,590