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Lot #300
Jefferson Davis

Penned on the first day of the Civil War—April 12, 1861

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Estimate: $2500+
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Penned on the first day of the Civil War—April 12, 1861

Civil War-dated ALS signed “Jeffer. Davis,” one page, 7.75 x 10, April 12, 1861. Letter written to J. F. Callan from Montgomery, Alabama, on the day that the attack on Fort Sumter was carried out per his orders, beginning the Civil War. In full: "Your letter of March 20th in behalf of Mr. John Calvert has been received and referred to the Secretary of the Treasury for his due consideration." A second message has been added below by "S. Bassett French, Aide de camp to Governor of Va.," at the "General Head Qrs, Richmond," May 9, 1861, in full: "Mr. John Calvert is on his way to Montgomery in Alabama, he will be permitted to pass through Virginia without hindrance." In very good condition, with separations along intersecting folds somewhat crudely repaired with heavy white tape on the reverse.

Montgomery, Alabama was the initial site of the capital of the Confederacy, and from there Davis had ordered P. G. T. Beauregard to demand the surrender of Fort Sumter, and, if denied, to attack. On April 11th, Fort Sumter's commander, Robert Anderson, refused to surrender. Beauregard's bombardment began at 4:30 a.m. on the date of this letter, April 12, 1861. A remarkable piece from a most historic date in American history.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #537 - Ended October 10, 2018

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