Moody Mary Todd Lincoln Letter to be Sold at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on May 5

437_490_(LINCOLN, ABRAHAM) ARNOLD, ISAAC_MTL Letter_RGB copy.jpgA particularly nasty letter from Mary Todd Lincoln will be on the block May 5 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers as part of a rare three-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. Offered during the Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, the biography has been supplemented with over 100 autographed letters, documents and photographs from the President himself, his family and his contemporaries. Mrs. Lincoln's letter stands out as the most controversial of the bunch. 

The First Lady’s tenure at the White House was marked by mood swings, cattiness and excessive spending. In the letter, written on the occasion of the Lincoln's first New Years Eve at the White House, Mrs. Lincoln scolds a certain Mrs. Harris for sending a lesser gift than she had expected. She writes: "I am surprised to find that you have sent me no flowers - the bonnet is perfectly useless. If you cannot do better, send me some white ones - like the one you sent in the bonnet," and closes with, "I did not suppose you would treat me thus."

The letter, revealing of Mrs. Lincoln's temperament, is filled with sarcasm, condescension and hypersensitivity, supporting recent theories that Mrs. Lincoln may have suffered from bipolar disorder. Within the biography to be offered at auction, the letter strategically appears in a chapter devoted to the Lincoln’s early courtship. Other historical manuscripts in the rare tomes have likewise been carefully positioned to coincide with formative moments in the President's life.

The set was previously owned by Frank Lowden, the 25th Governor of the state of Illinois (in office. 1917-1921), adding to its importance. It will be brought to auction with a presale estimate of $10,000-15,000 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ May 5 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction, which takes place in the Chicago saleroom with online bidding via LHLive and Bidsquare.

Auction Schedule

Fine Books and Manuscripts

1338 West Lake Street

Chicago, Illinois 60607

Thursday, May 5 | 10 AM CT

Preview Schedule

Fine Books and Manuscripts

1338 West Lake Street

Chicago, Illinois 60607

Saturday, April 30 ­ Wednesday, May 4

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the world¹s foremost fine art auction houses, has been providing exceptional service and achieving record prices since 1982. With more salerooms in the United States than any other auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, 20th century design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Palm Beach, Naples, Denver, Milwaukee, Chicago and Saint Louis but serves a global client base through its position at the forefront of technology. The firm is also a founding partner of Bidsquare, a live auction platform formed by six leading auction houses, and owns a proprietary online bidding platform, LHLive, as well as LHExchange, an e-commerce site specializing in high-end designer furniture and decorative arts. Visit www.lesliehindman.com for more information.

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