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Lot #108
Abraham Lincoln

MERCHANT OF WAR: LINCOLN forwards an application for a “sutler”

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MERCHANT OF WAR: LINCOLN forwards an application for a “sutler”

War-dated ink endorsement, “Submitted to the Secretary of War, A. Lincoln, October 13, 1863,” on the integral leaf of a letter written to Lincoln by auctioneer William Wall, applying for a position as a post sutler. Wall’s letter, addressed to “The President, Abraham Lincoln,” reads, in part: “The undersigned respectfully makes application for the appointment of Post Sutler of the Cavalry Camp of Instruction now established at Grisboro.... In filing this application the undersigned would respectfully state that he has transacted business in this District for twenty years as an auctioneer and commission merchant.... Moreover he is not only a loyal citizen but an earnest supporter of the civil and military policy of this administration.” The “sutler,” a civilian who was given a license to operate a store on the post, supplied the soldiers with items that supplemented the bare necessities provided by the Army. In the 1850s and 1860s, Native Americans also traded at such stores. Although the Army regulated the prices of items, sutlers still made a tidy profit at their enterprise. In fine condition, with a few creases and mild toning along folds. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #340 - Ended December 10, 2008