Abraham Lincoln Signs a Document on the Same Day He Announces an End to Slavery in US Territories
Item Number: 14952
US President who guided the nation through Civil War and was famously assassinated. 2 page recto verso Manuscript Document Signed by Lincoln on June 19, 1862, the same date on which he signed the historic bill abolishing slavery in the U.S. territories. In this document, Lincoln extends mercy to an inmate by providing a pardon. Measures 10.75x16.5".Lincoln issued this pardon after several petitions arrived on Lambert's behalf, emphasizing his family's financial need as well as the support of two convicting juror at his trial five years prior.
This pardon states in part: “Whereas, at the December Term, A.D., 1857…Isaac Lambert was convicted on two indictments for Larceny and was sentenced to imprisonment in the Penitentiary for the term of three years under each conviction;—And whereas, the said Isaac Lambert has served over three-fourths of his double term of six years, in a patient, penitent, and exemplary manner;—And whereas, it appears that the family…are in a destitute condition, and that his labor is necessary for their support…I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America,…grant unto him, the said Isaac Lambert, a full and unconditional pardon.”
Boldly signed at the conclusion "Abraham Lincoln" with a white paper seal affixed to the upper left that remains fully intact.
In addition to granting this individual mercy to Lambert on June 19, Lincoln also initiated the process of abolition in the U.S. by signing a historic bill that banned slavery in all current and future U.S. territories. Overturning the controversial Dred Scott decision, in which the Supreme Court had denied the federal government regulatory power over the territories' slave trades and policies, Lincoln took a public action that helped the nation move closer to emancipation within the states. In cooperation with Lincoln, Congress enacted legislation on June 19 emancipating slaves in the territories and banning slavery there hereafter. The law read simply: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." This straightforward legislation paved the way for the Emancipation Proclamation, which Lincoln announced in September 1862 and signed into effect on January 1, 1863.
A highly desirable example signed at an important moment in the abolition of slavery.To obtain a signed document or letter directly relating to Emancipation would likely cost over $1 million today. At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, a document by Lincoln affixing the seal of the President "on my Proclamation" without mentioning the word "emancipation" sold for $800,000. Repaired separations to intersecting folds, one vertical fold passing through a single letter of the signature, and scattered toning, otherwise fine condition.