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19   Abraham Lincoln  $1000 $2148 $2363 10 You must login to place a bid.

#19 - Abraham Lincoln

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Lincoln submits a desperate soldier’s plea for money earned as a first Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp

War-dated handwritten endorsement, signed as president, “Respectfully submitted to the War Department, A. Lincoln, March 27, 1862,” on the reverse of a lightly-lined one-page 7.5 x 10.5 ALS from Kentuckian Fontaine T. Fox, Jr., to Kentucky Unionist Congressman Aaron Harding. Fox writes, in full: “Genl Ward read to me that part of your letter pertaining to me. I thank you for your kindness. I have not been enabled to fix my place yet. A certain Colonel gave me an unconditional promise to fix it, but when a vacancy occurred in his Regiment he refused to keep his promise, and it is now again necessary to ask Pres Lincoln for his confirmation. My pay to this time amounts to about $800. It is impossible to get my place fixed in the regular way. I have rendered the usual Services and so far have paid my own expences. Major Ruggles of the Adjutant General Department has given his official opinion that the Act of Congress calling out Volunteers, does not require Aides-De-Camp to be Lieutenants of the Line. This information I have from what I regard as reliable authority. The war is about closed, and I begin to feel like returning to civil life, but I have incurred expences on the faith of my position that must be paid by my own purse, unless the President will confirm my appointment and order the Paymaster to pay me as an Aid[e]. I am sorry to trouble you but I am bound to do so on account of my own honor and circumstances. I hope to hear from you soon. Genl Ward is very well.” In very good to fine condition, with intersecting folds, scattered creasing, two small tears along the bottom, and areas of scattered toning, one of which passes through Lincoln’s unusually rapid and slightly brushed signature. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA.

Oddly, despite Lincoln submitting the request to the War Department, which was under fire for inefficiency and profiteering, no action was taken on Fox’s behalf until 1866, when Andrew Johnson signed a Joint Resolution of Congress ordering Fox be paid ‘a sum equal to the pay and allowances of a first Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp’ from October 8, 1861 to April 3, 1862. Interesting evidence of Lincoln’s firsthand attention to even the smallest details during his administration.

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