Lincoln, Abraham. Autograph Signature on Check to Springfield Friend
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Abraham Lincoln Signature on a check to a contractor for work at his home in Springfield. IL.
This check for $25.00 was, according to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, in payment for work done on Lincoln’s home and outhouse (a three-holer).
The recipient, John Armstrong (1814–77), was appointed Postmaster of Sangamon County by Lincoln and was a respected Sangamon County contractor and builder. Armstrong was on the executive committee of the Republican Party in Springfield, of which Lincoln was also a member.
Lincoln read Armstrong and other Illinois Republicans his House Divided Speech in 1858. Armstrong advised Lincoln should leave out the house divided reference. Lincoln refused. “Mr. Lincoln sat still a short moment, rose from his chair, walked backwards and forwards in the Hall, stopped and said, ‘Friends: I have thought about this matter a great deal, have weighed the question well from all corners; and am thoroughly convinced the time has come when it should be uttered and if it must be that I must go down because of this speech then let me go down linked to truth — die in the advocacy of what is right and just. This nation cannot live on in justice — a house divided against itself cannot stand, and so forth, I say again and again.” –Herndon’s Informants (1998)
Lincoln, Abraham. Printed Check, accomplished and signed. Springfield: 4 February 1860.
Daniel Weinberg, president of Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, talks about this document in our Featured Lincoln Signatures video. Take a Look.