Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Potential Final Lincoln Signature

A man in South Amherst, Illinois might have Abraham Lincoln's final signature.

Bruce Steiner discovered a note on the back of an envelope he purchased at a flea market.

The note stated,"Let this man enter with this note. April 14, 1865. A. Lincoln."

Isn't it amazing what you can find at a flea market?

Obviously, the question arises about its authenticity. Steiner himself originally refused to believe it. Local historical societies shunned him.

However, John Lupton, the assistant director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a preservation project at the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, supports Steiner's claim. Lupton believes the signature is authentic due to his handwriting analysis. It's clear that more analysis needs to be done.

Steiner's discovery shows the ad-hoc nature of government during the 19th century. An internal White House note or memo from the Obama or Bush Administrations would never end up at a garage sale. Those documents would lie in a Federal vault in Washington, DC awaiting declassification. It would be stamped "Classified" even if it were a purchase order to Wal Mart for toilet paper.

Times have changed.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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