Lot #93
Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln calls for New York troops in the draft which incited riots in the streets
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Lincoln calls for New York troops in the draft which incited riots in the streets

Choice partly-printed DS as president, one page, 7.5 x 9.5, August 12, 1863. In full: “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, having taken into consideration the number of volunteers and militia furnished by and from the several States, including the State of New York, and the period of service of said volunteers and militia since the commencement of the present rebellion, in order to equalize the numbers among the Districts of said States, and having considered and allowed for the number already furnished as aforesaid, and the time of their service aforesaid, do hereby assign Two thousand and fifty as the first proportional part of the quota of troops to be furnished by the Fifth District of the State of New York under this, the first call made by me on the State of New York, under the act approved March 3, 1863, entitled ‘An Act for Enrolling and calling out the National Forces, and for other purposes,’ and in pursuance of the act aforesaid, I order that a draft be made in the said Fifth District of the State of New York, for the number of men herein assigned to said District, and fifty percent in addition.” In fine, clean, unfolded condition, with a tiny tear to extreme top edge and a trivial single spot of foxing beneath Lincoln’s perfect signature. Handsomely cloth matted and framed on its own, then further framed with a color-tinted engraving, an illustration of a recruiting scene, and two plaques, to an overall size of 41 x 23.

In 1863, Lincoln established a military draft to replenish the Union Army’s depleted ranks, with this offered draft requisition targeting men in the Empire State—specifically, a request for 2,050 troops from New York’s 5th district as part of “the first call made by me on the State of New York.” The concept of conscription was a controversial one in the war-torn Union, with the act requiring states to draft men to serve in the armed forces if individual states did not meet their enlistment quotas through volunteers. The federal government oversaw the draft and created provost marshals to enforce it; all white men between the ages of 20 and 45 were eligible. The Conscription Act permitted drafted men to either pay a $300 fee or hire a substitute to escape service if they were drafted. The act, created without due consideration of its consequences, led to civil disturbance in some cities, most notably New York City where rioters battled police for three days, the violence resulting in many deaths. A controversial but necessary wartime document, perfectly signed and in exquisitely outstanding condition. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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  • Dates: #381 - Ended January 18, 2012

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