Lincoln Manuscript Fetches $2.2 Million at Auction

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A handwritten manuscript written and signed by Abraham Lincoln for a 10-year-old boy sold for $2.2 million at Heritage Auctions on Wednesday. The sale price blew through its original $1-million estimate.

Lincoln wrote down the final paragraph of his second inaugural speech (“With malice toward none; with charity for all...”) and then signed his name in an autograph book presented to him by Linton Usher, then 10 years old, the son of Lincoln’s Interior Secretary John Usher. Lincoln’s contribution came just a handful of weeks before he was assassinated.

“This is just one of five manuscripts of that particular speech,” said Sandra Palomino, director of rare manuscripts at Heritage Auctions, “so it’s an understatement to call it rare. Lincoln was not one to just scribble a quote for someone. It’s likely that this was written on request.”

Linton Usher’s autograph book has remained in Usher family hands until yesterday, when the book was sold at auction to an anonymous collector for $2,213,000.

[Image from Heritage Auctions]
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