2019 Summer Premium Live and Catalog Auction Lots 1-82 Close Aug 1- 83-end close 8/10
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This lot comprises an INCREDIBLY important document showing the more political and corrupt side of Lincoln’s character. In signing this permit from December 27th, 1864, Lincoln gives Robert Lamon, a political crony from Illinois and brother to Lincoln’s chief bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon, permission to trade with the Confederates for 5000 bales of highly valuable contraband cotton.

Lincoln was certainly not averse to rewarding key supporters, and the Lamon brothers were certainly among Lincoln’s most trusted associates. Though he had practiced law with Lincoln in Illinois, Ward Lamon’s chief job during the war was to safeguard the President, and Robert Lamon, the recipient of this permit, often aided him in this capacity, as well as in numerous other less laudable practices of the politics of the day.

Lincoln gave this permit to Lamon after his reelection was assured and it was less likely to become a scandal. Even so, there appears to have been a congressional investigation into the granting of this and other similar permits by Lincoln to his favorites. This document is of particular interest in that it provides a rare and indisputable example of the seedier, more political side of Lincoln’s nature. It is worth noting that such patronage was the order of the day in Civil War period politics, and it is unlikely that Lincoln would have been a President if he had not provided such favors.

Very few of these permits were ever issued, and even fewer were used, as public scrutiny, coupled with the end of the War, made the permits less useful. Perhaps several dozen were made in total, and because of the controversial nature of these permits, it is likely that few were kept after the war. After 30 years of working in the field this is the only example that we have encountered, and it may well be the only one of its kind to be in private hands. As the scans illustrate, Lincoln’s signature is extremely bold, and the document is in superb condition. This item comes with a LOA from Steve Grad of Beckett Authentication (A56187).

1864 President Abraham Lincoln Signed Document As President Dated 12/27/1864 (Beckett)
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