A signed letter sent by Abraham Lincoln to his secretary of war during the American civil war has exceeded expectations at Freeman's Rare Books & Manuscripts auction, held April 5 in Philadelphia.
The letter sees the president interceding on behalf of a minor that has been drafted into the Union army. It sold for $25,000, beating its $15,000 high estimate by 66.6%.
The letter was sent from Washington in September 1863. It sees the president appealing for the discharge of Charles Young, drafted in "this district…notwithstanding his minor age…his father, mother and a neighbour woman…all tell me they will swear the boy was born in February 1845. One month before the inauguration of Mr Polk."
Lincoln refers to James Knox Polk, who was made the 11th president of the United States on March 4, 1845. The letter comes in the midst of the American civil war, just two months after Lincoln's troops had been victorious at the Battle of Gettysburg.
The one-page document itself is in good condition, with light to moderate creases along the folds and a light vertical crease that just touches the first L in Lincoln's signature. It once belonged to the American Songbook singer Peggy King.