A signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by president Abraham Lincoln, is expected to achieve $2.4m in a New York stamp auction later this month.
The June 26 auction will feature the incredible document alongside a vast selection of stamp rarities of the world. However, Lincoln's groundbreaking manuscipt will provide the auction's biggest draw; it was the Emancipation Proclamation that the president used to free 3.1m slaves during the US civil war.
Lincoln bravely made the proclamation in 1863, in order to free the slaves held within the 10 rebellious states that opposed his Union forces. The proclamation was not a law passed by congress, but an order issued by Lincoln as commander in chief of the Army and Navy, a role which gave him the martial power to suspend civil law in the Confederate states.
The proclamation was not challenged in court, and following the Union victory in 1865, Lincoln pushed the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlaws slavery, through congress - subsequently changing the history of the US forever. It was brave move from Lincoln to force the controversial decision, as it could have cost him his presidency.
The copy at auction is an 1864 "authorised edition" which was created to aid Union troops as they advanced on the Confederate states. One of only 26 known to survive, it has been signed by Lincoln along with Secretary of State William Seward and Lincoln's private secretary, John Nicolay. The document will go to auction with an estimate of $1.8m-2.4m.
Similarly, Bonhams will feature a rare draft of Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty in its June 19 sale of Books & Manuscripts. See Paul Fraser Collectibles' preview here.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fascinating and unique item on offer to Abraham Lincoln collectors. Our fragments of wallpaper are taken from the bedroom of the only home the president ever owned.
For more from this exciting sale, be sure to check back with Paul Fraser Collectibles soon.