Thursday 19 November 2009

News: For Sale - Lincoln Letter

In 1861, 8 year old George Evans Patten was taken to Springfield, Illinois by his father, journalist James Alexander Patten. There, he met the soon-to-be inaugurated Abraham Lincoln. Back at school, he boasted to his schoolmates about this encounter - but none of them believed him. In an effort to curtail their teasing, Patten's teacher wrote to the White House asking for corroboration of the meeting. Above, you can see Lincoln's response: "Whom it may concern: I did see and talk with Master George Evans Patten, last May, at Springfield, Illinois. Respectfully, A. Lincoln." This letter is now being put up for sale by the Raab Collection and according to the Guardian has been priced at $60,000 - which is pretty small beans compared to a letter written by Lincoln to a group of abolitionist school children in 1864 which sold for $3.4 million last April.

And in other nineteenth century correspondence news, Following the Equator reports that the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is offering up seven original Mark Twain letters for perusal and download.

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