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Autograph Abraham Lincoln documents from the Lincoln Collection at the University of Delaware

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Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The following list of material includes all of the documents in the University of Delaware's Lincoln Collection that contain Abraham Lincoln's original signature or other autograph writing. These documents, housed in the Special Collections Department of Morris Library, are part of a much larger collection of Lincolniana that came to the University from the Lincoln Club of Delaware in 1972. The collection includes over two thousand books and pamphlets, photographs, artwork, sculpture, artifacts, historic documents, and miscellaneous material pertaining to the life and career of Abraham Lincoln. There are thirteen documents in this collection signed by Lincoln or written in his hand, as well as several related letters and photographs. Included are a signed broadside edition of the Emancipation Proclamation (Item #8), a signed copy of the resolution proposing the Thirteenth Amendment (Item #11), and a small collection of documents related to Lincoln's contact with Civil War veteran and Delaware native Ashland B. Swiggett (Item #4).

The items are listed below in chronological order, according to the date of the Lincoln document. The material, most of which is framed, is contained in six boxes; the box number for each item is listed at the end of the item's description. Where practical, a full transcription accompanies the item description.

Boxes 1-6: Shelved in SPEC VAULT MSS

Gift of the Lincoln Club of Delaware, 1972

Processed by Carrie L. Foley, April 2003. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, November 2019.

Publisher
University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec

Collection Inventory

Note from Abraham Lincoln, 1855 October 15. 1 page.
Box 2 Item 1
Scope and Contents

Autograph manuscript signed. Sent from Clinton, Illinois.

Note on David Miller. Transcription of note reads, "It is thought the David Miller, mentioned in this letter, now lives in Sangamon County, Illinois; and is connected by marriage with the family of the late Francis Taylor – Clinton, Oct. 15, 1855 A. Lincoln."

On verso is letter dated 1855 May 24.

1 page

Letter from David Pearce, 1855 May 24. 1 page.
Box 2 Item 1
Scope and Contents

Autograph letter signed. Sent from Springfield, Illinois.

To Abraham Lincoln regarding the firm Jackson & Miller.

On verso is letter dated 1855 October 15.

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln , 1863 February 27. 1 page.
Box 6 Item 2
Scope and Contents

Document signed. Sent from Washington, D.C.

Appointment of Thomas W. Sweney to serve as Assessor of Internal Revenue for the Second Collection District of Pennsylvania. Co-signed by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase.

On verso is letter dated 1863 March 5.

1 page

Document from William J. [Dellehn], 1863 March 5. 1 page.
Box 6 Item 2
Scope and Contents

Autograph document signed. Sent from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Notarized oath of Thomas W. Sweney to the office of Assessor of Internal Revenue for the Second Collection District of Pennsylvania.

On verso is letter dated 1863 February 27.

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1863 March 4. 1 page.
Box 6 Item 3
Scope and Contents

Document signed. Sent from Washington, D.C.

Appointment of Thomas J. Emerson to serve as Collector of Internal Revenue for the First Collection District of Wisconsin. Co-signed by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase.

1 page

Scope and Contents

Ashland B. Swiggett (b.[ca. 1845]) served in the Union Army during the Civil War as a private in the First Delaware Infantry. He suffered permanent disabilities after sustaining six wounds at the battle of Antietam. In the spring of 1863, the veteran appealed to Delaware politicians William Cannon and John W. Houston to help him obtain a government job. The two men wrote letters on his behalf, which Swiggett personally presented to President Lincoln. Lincoln provided him with a letter of introduction, recommending that he receive a post as a messenger ("messengership") at a federal bureau or department. The letter proved to be useful, as Swiggett secured a position at the Pension Office.

6 item

Letter from Abraham Lincoln, 1863 April 20. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 4a.
Scope and Contents

Autograph letter signed. To unknown recipient recommending the appointment of Ashland B. Swiggett to a messengership.

1 page

Letter from William Cannon (1809-1865), 1863 April 10. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 4b.
Scope and Contents

Autograph letter signed. Sent from Bridgeville, Delaware.

To Abraham Lincoln, requesting a messengership for Ashland B. Swiggett.

William Cannon served as Governor of Delaware from 1863 to 1865.

1 page

Letter from John W. Houston (1814-1896), 1863 April 14. 2 page.
Box 1 Item 4c.
Scope and Contents

Autograph letter signed. Sent from Georgetown, Delaware.

To Abraham Lincoln, requesting a messengership for Ashland B. Swiggett.

John W. Houston served as United States Representative from Delaware from 1845 to 1851.

2 pagequarto size

Letter from Ashland B. Swiggett, 1887 December 13. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 4d.
Scope and Contents

Autograph letter signed. Sent from Chicago, Illinois.

To an unknown recipient describing two photographs. One of the pictures, taken in February of 1863, is included in this collection and is described below. Swiggett also describes a picture taken of him and his brother, Francis C. Swiggett, in 1864, which is not part of this collection.

1 page

Cartes-de-visite of Ashland B. Swiggett, 1864 February.
Box 1 Item 4e.
Scope and Contents

Published by William H. Curry, Wilmington, Delaware

Autograph note on verso reads, "[I] was just 17 [years] 6 mos old when this was taken, Received Feb 1863."

2½" x 4¼"

Cartes-de-visite of Ashland B. Swiggett, 1870.
Box 1 Item 4f.
Scope and Contents

Published by Henry Ulke & Bro., Washington D.C., 1870.

Signature on recto reads, "Yours, as long as you like. A.B. Swiggett."

2½" x 4¼"

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1864 January 14. 1 page.
Box 2 Item 5
Scope and Contents

Document signed. Sent from Washington, D.C.

Presidential warrant to pardon J. B. Evans.

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1864 April 25.
Box 2 Item 6
Scope and Contents

Document signed, 1 page, Washington, D.C.. Presidential warrant approving a supplementary treaty with the Chippewa Indians.

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1864 May 28. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 7
Scope and Contents

Autograph document signed. Pass authorizing the release of an unknown boy.

Transcription reads, "Let this boy be discharged, on refunding any bounty received. A. Lincoln May 28, 1864."

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, circa 1864 June 6. 1 page.
Box 5 Item 8
Scope and Contents

Document signed. From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Printed by Frederick Leypoldt, circa June 6, 1864.

A Proclamation, known as the "Emancipation Proclamation." Co-signed by Secretary of State William H. Seward and attested to by Lincoln's private secretary, John G. Nicolay.

This signed broadside edition of the Emancipation Proclamation is one of forty-eight copies originally printed to be sold as fundraisers at the Great Central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia, June 7-29, 1864. Only about twenty are known to exist today.

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1864 September 13. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 9
Scope and Contents

Autograph document signed. Pass for John Ehler to travel to City Point, Virginia. Postmark on verso.

Transcription reads, "Let this boy, John Ehler, have transportation, food, and whatever is necessary, to get him to his Uncle Dr. Ehler, at Cavalry Corps Hospital at City Point, Va. Sep. 13, 1864. A. Lincoln."

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1864 September 30. 1 page.
Box 3 Item 10
Scope and Contents

Document signed. Sent from Washington, D.C.

Appointment of Friedrich Kuhne to serve as Consul of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, at New York. Co-signed by Secretary of State William H. Seward.

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1865 February 1. 1 page.
Box 4 Item 11
Scope and Contents

Document signed. "A Resolution," submitting the Thirteenth Amendment to the States. Co-signed by Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin and Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax and attested to by John W. Forney, Secretary of the Senate, and Edward McPherson, Clerk of the House.

This is one of four known signed copies of this resolution. It is a partly-printed document, completed in manuscript. The Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, was officially adopted on December 6, 1865.

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1865 February 15. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 12
Scope and Contents

Autograph document signed. Pass authorizing the release of an unknown man. The pass is written on a piece of paper addressed to Lincoln.

Transcription reads, "Let this man be discharged. A. Lincoln Feb. 15, 1865. Hon. A. Lincoln President U. States."

1 page

Document from Abraham Lincoln, 1865 March 7. 1 page.
Box 1 Item 13
Scope and Contents

Autograph document signed. Pass authorizing the release of an unknown number of men under the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.

Transcription reads, "Let these men be released on taking the amnesty oath of December 8, 1863. A. Lincoln March 7, 1865."

1 page

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