ALS signed “Mary Lincoln,” two pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.5 x 7, no date but circa October 1861. Letter to Messrs. Hindhaugh & Co. In full: “There is no misunderstanding, in the matter, Mr. Wood, without any order or unsolicited, had Mr. L. measured for a suit of clothes. Of course, it was not supposed, they were a present from you, but Wood mentioned, that they were to be presented to the President, and nothing more was thought of it, until your bill was presented. Mr. Wood, was requested to select the summer suit.” In very good to fine condition. Accompanied by an ALS by Lincoln’s bodyguard William S. Wood, one page, March 19, 1861, to Messrs. Hindhaugh & Co., in part: “I have the pleasure of informing you that the suit of clothes which you made for the President was worn by him at his inauguration on the 4th…and gave him such entire satisfaction that he worn it at the ball on the evening of that day.” Additionally includes the address panels clipped from the mailing envelopes of both letters: one addressed in Mary Todd Lincoln’s hand and franked by Lincoln’s secretary John G. Nicolay; and the other addressed in Wood’s hand and franked by John Hay.
As even her most mundane letters are sought after, this letter by Mary Todd Lincoln, written as first lady and boasting excellent content about “Mr. L” at the beginning of his presidency, is of the utmost desirability. Wood was a businessman who helped organize the rail transportation and lodging for the Lincolns on their trip from Springfield to Washington prior to the inauguration; he then became a frequent companion of Mary Todd’s during her extravagant shopping sprees, and here he seems to have taken taken the liberty of ordering the president a new suit. Related to President Lincoln’s famously distinctive wardrobe—the dark black suit and stove pipe hat—as well as his first inauguration, this is a truly remarkable collection of autographic material. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.