Abraham Lincoln letter to Grant up 82% on estimate

An important letter written by Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses Grant just four days before the Confederate surrender which ended the US civil war has sold with excellent results.

Abraham Lincoln letter
Lincoln anticipates the end of the civil war but doubts the impact of his negotiations



The letter was estimated to bring between $200,000-300,000, but soared to an 81.6% increase at $545,000 in Sotheby's Fine Books & Manuscripts Including Americana auction in New York on December 2.

At the time of writing, Abraham Lincoln had gone to Richmond, Virginia for secret discussions on ending the civil war with Confederate Assistant Secretary of War John A Campbell. Returning, he sent this report to Ulysses Grant, commanding general of the Union armies.

Detailing his attempts to negotiate, the letter sees Lincoln acknowledging that his efforts would likely have little effect, yet it is clear that the civil war is in its final days:

"I do not think it very probable that anything will come of this; but I have thought best to notify you, so that if you should see signs you may understand them. From your recent despatches it seems that you are pretty effectively withdrawing the Virginia troops from opposition to the government. Nothing I have done, or probably shall do, is to delay or hinder [careted in "or interfere with"] you in your work."

Indeed, Robert E Lee would surrender his Army of Northern Virginia to Grant at Appmattox Court House just four days later.

This is a draft of the actual letter sent to Grant, and was likely retained for Lincoln's records, having originated from the family of Edwin Standing, Lincoln's secretary of war.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has Abraham Lincoln's wallpaper for sale.


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