Abraham Lincoln Signed Endorsement On A Letter For Sale
Abraham Lincoln signed referral of a letter to the War Department. Lincoln's note reads "Respectfully submitted to the War Department. A. Lincoln Sept. 27, 1861." It is accompanied by the petition to Lincoln from Samuel D. Bell recommending Henry M. McFarland, Esq. of Concord, New Hampshire to a position as a Paymaster. The endorsement is on a portion of the detached second page of Bell's letter. Bell was the Chief Justice of the state's Superior Court of Judicature.
Bell's letter has some minor tape repair show-through at one margin, the entire fold having been separated and re-attached across the fold. The Lincoln note is in the middle third panel which of course would be the back of a page folded in threes for mailing. There is some weakness at the folds but the important center portion and writing are fine with a minor loss of blank paper at the upper left as seen in the scan.
McFarland was finally appointed to the position in late 1862. Some 20 years later he wrote a personal recollection of Concord and his time in the service. He wrote of his appointment "Toward the end of the year 1862 I was appointed a paymaster in the army. My commission, which bears for its signature the name of Abraham Lincoln, shows the date of appointment to have been November 26. There were seventy persons appointed to like positions on the same day…" His book details his service and the various units he served and where he travelled. Perhaps even more interesting is his description of "just happening" to have been in Washington for several months the prior year. Based on the time Lincoln received this Bell's letter it is pretty clear that the letter and McFarland's Washington visit were part of a common story of people campaigning for Presidential appointments. A re-print of McFarland's book is included.
Such endorsements or referrals are available on the market but like anything of Lincoln's are becoming less available and more sought after. Even less common though is corresponding documentation or letters connecting these short notes with particular people or requests. This is a very nice combination enhanced by the recipients book about his appointment and experience in the army.
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