In a Feb. 12 sale of Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 Victory Speech, Christie’s achieved $3,442,500 and set a new auction record for a Lincoln manuscript, a presidential manuscript and any American historical document.
Chris Coover, Senior Specialist of the Books and Manuscripts department, said, “We are extremely gratified at the attention this historic Presidential speech generated in the media, leading up to today’s observance of Lincoln’s Bicentennial birthday. Today’s auction is a testimony to Americans’ and the world’s abiding interest in and reverence for President Abraham Lincoln.”
Delivered by Lincoln from the White House on Nov. 10, 1864, two days after he won re-election to a second term, the speech was compelling, eloquent and timely. In it, Lincoln considers “whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence, in great emergencies.” He stresses that “we cannot have free government without elections,” even in times of serious crisis. Finally he calls upon his fellow Americans to “re-unite in a common effort, to save our common country.”
Proceeds from the sale of the speech will go to the Southworth Library Association and will fund construction of a new addition to the library and other projects.
For more information on Christie’s auctions, visit www.christies.com.
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