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Abraham Lincoln and His Cabinet, A Collection of Autographs

Autographs and Images of
Every Member of Both Lincoln Cabinets

Handsomely Assembled in a Beautiful Book!


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This Collection of Autographs features Abraham Lincoln and his Entire Cabinet. It includes letters and documents signed by Lincoln, his vice presidents Hannibal Hamlin and Andrew Johnson, and all members of his administration’s first and second cabinets.

Each letter or document (or, in the case of James Speed, a signature) is hinged onto its own sheet, preceded on the previous page by a contemporary image (photograph, engraving, or lithograph) of the man; autograph and image each have a decorative, hand-produced rule line surrounding it.

A collection put together by Eugene Field II for A. Watson Armour, Ill (scion to the Armour meatpacking company, the first to can meats) and wife Jean S. Armour [bookplate]. Eugene Field II, son of the poet and writer Eugene Field, was in league with forger Harry Sickles, a Chicago book dealer (we’re sorry to say), who specialized in “Abraham Lincoln” signatures. A rear leaf bears a notarized inscription: “This wonderful collection of the autographs of Lincoln’s cabinet comes from the library of my father, Eugene Field. / (sgd) Eugene Field II / Sept. 16, 1929 1/ [sgd] Julia S. Field (Mrs. Eugene Field) / (notarization.”)

Unfortunately, the alleged Lincoln endorsement and signature included were entirely forged!  By Field II himself!  (It is interesting to note that he indemnified himself by only mentioning–therefore inferring–the cabinet signatures, that they were certainly authentic.  He did not mention the Lincoln at all!)

When they purchased this collection from Fields, the Armours were unaware of this fact. For, though all the cabinet members’ autographs were authentic, that of Abraham Lincoln was not. An authentic letter from General Wool to the President (Lincoln) was obtained and Fields added a signed and dated “Lincoln” endorsement at the bottom. A copy of this forgery is included, next to the notarization in the rear.

An authentic Lincoln letter, inserted at the head of this collection, has taken the forgery’s place in this excellent historical collection.

Autographs include: 

LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph Letter, signed “Yours Truly / A. Lincoln” on Executive Mansion stationery, Washington: 9 August 1862. Concerning one Midshipman Wm. F. Hall and his appointment. But Lincoln explains that an age problem exists and that he may have to rescind the appointment if Congress fixes its own mistake.

HAMLIN, Hannibal. (Vice President first term 1861-1865) Autograph Letter, signed. 17 March 1869. About helping gain an appointment for B. B. Hanson.

SEWARD, William H. (Secretary of State 1861-1865) Autograph Letter, signed. 10 January 1839. Helping with an appointment to the office in Chancery.

CHASE, Salmon P. (Secretary of Treasury 1861-1864) Autograph Letter, signed. 25 March n.y. Accepts an invitation to dine.

CAMERON, Simon. (as Secretary of War 1861-1862) Partially Printed Document, signed. 27 September 1861. Accomplished in holograph. Appointment for a First Lieutenant in the 12th Reg. of inf.

STANTON, Edwin M. (as Secretary of War 1862-1865) Autograph Letter, signed. 22 January 1864. “…comply with the request you made at the Presidents last evening…”; probably this letter made to sell at a Sanitary Fair.

WELLES, Gideon. (as Secretary of the Navy 1861-1865) Holograph Letter, signed. 5 July 1866. Asks the President sign a Commission for Charles Hunter to be a Commander in the Navy. On the Retired List.”

BATES, Edward. (Attorney General 1861-1864) Autograph Letter, signed. 24 August 1864 on Attorney General’s Office stationary. Complies apparently to an autograph request from one “Master Harrison Wright.”

BLAIR, Montgomery. (Postmaster General 1861-1864) Autograph Letter, signed. 8 March 1879. Acknowledges receipt of a letter.

FESSENDEN, William Pitt. (Secretary of Treasury 1864-1865) Autograph Letter, signed. 16 June 1847. Encloses a letter.

McCULLOUGH, Hugh. (Secretary of Treasury 1865) Letter, signed. 27 February 1868. Gives thanks for a book that “cannot fail to be valuable to Bankers, Merchants and businessmen generally.”

DENNISON, William. (Postmaster General 1864-1865) Autograph Letter, signed. Sends his autograph.

JOHNSON, Andrew. (Vice President, second term 1865; as President) Document, signed. 26 June 1865. Affixes the Seal of the United States to “a warrant for the conditional pardon of William S. Donnan.”

SMITH, Caleb (Secretary of Interior 1861-1862] Autograph Letter, signed. 21 March 1863 to J. P. Usher. Concerning an appointment to “lay…before the President.”

USHER, J. P. [Secretary of Interior 1863-1865) Autograph Letter, signed. 1 Sept. 1849.  A letter concerning a legal case.

SPEED, James (Attorney General 1864-1865) Bold Signature on a card.

(Several of the letters are illustrated here. We’ve loaded a representative sample of the engravings. too-all are very fine, with solid tonality and beautiful contrast. If you’re looking for a specific letter get in touch and we can send a photograph)

(Lincoln, Abraham & Cabinet Members) Album including an image and letter or signature from each. Housed in a beautiful full crushed French levant leather binding, elaborate gilt tooling; ornate gilt doublures; silk flyleaves; leather hinges.  The album is itself in a sturdy half-leather clam-shell box. 11 1/2″ x 14 1/2″. Excl condition.