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Lot #34
Abraham Lincoln

Signed in the immediate aftermath of Fort Sumter, a diplomatic appointment to Russia

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Estimate: $6000+
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Signed in the immediate aftermath of Fort Sumter, a diplomatic appointment to Russia

Choice partly-printed DS as president, one page, 18 x 12, April 18, 1861. President Lincoln appoints Green Clay of Kentucky “to be Secretary of the Legation of the United States of America at St. Petersburg.” Nicely signed at the conclusion by President Lincoln and countersigned by Secretary of State William H. Seward. The white paper seal affixed to the reverse remains intact. In fine condition, with expected document wear, intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature), trivial mirroring of ink, and some light scattered soiling. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA.

Green Clay was the son of the ardent abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, and this appointment came following the assignment of Cassius as US minister to Russia. Cassius Marcellus Clay proved to be an able diplomat, garnering Russian support for the Union and taking part in crucial negotiations; later in the decade he would play a key role in brokering the purchase of Alaska. Although Russia did not directly intervene in the Civil War, they were enemies of both the British and French who supported the Confederacy. At one point, the Russian Imperial Navy stationed ships in New York and San Francisco with orders to attack should any threatening vessels approach. Signed just four days after the Confederate Army took Fort Sumter, this document reveals President Lincoln’s attention to international affairs even in a time of domestic crisis.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #466 - Ended December 09, 2015

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