Abraham Lincoln Autograph Oath of December 8 Endorsement Signed.

Rare autograph endorsement signed and entirely in the hand of President Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Autograph Oath of December 8 Endorsement Signed.

LINCOLN, Abraham.

Item Number: 129034

Rare autograph Oath of December 8 endorsement signed and entirely in the hand of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. One page, signed and inscribed by Lincoln, “Let this boy take the oath of Dec. 8. & be discharged – A. Lincoln April 18, 1864.” The Oath of December 8 was announced by Lincoln in his annual message to congress in 1863. In the message, Lincoln declared that he would offer a pardon to any man who would swear, without coercion, his allegiance to the Union. The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction provided, then, a general pardon to soldiers in the Rebellion, and to those, too, who deserted the Union cause. The oath read, in part, “I do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by congress, or by decision of the supreme court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the supreme court. So help me God.” Mid-April 1864 was a busy one for Lincoln. The President was working with his new commander of the Army of the Potomac, Ulysses S. Grant, as they prepared for the commencement of the fateful 1864 campaign, just two weeks away. Lincoln was also planning for his visit and address to the Baltimore Sanitary Fair, which he attended on April 18 – the very day he signed this endorsement. The U.S. Sanitary Commission cared for the Union’s sick and wounded soldiers and promoted clean and healthy conditions and army camps. It held fairs in certain large cities around the country, mainly in 1863-4, to raise funds for its activities. Lincoln attended when he could, and contributed notes, documents and signatures to be sold or auctioned at the fairs. At this Baltimore fair, the President delivered his famous speech about slavery, in which he told the story of the sheep and the wolf, and how the sheep defined liberty as relief from the wolf, while the wolf defined it as being able to do what he wanted with the sheep. “We behold the processes by which thousands are daily passing from under the yoke of bondage, hailed by some as the advance of liberty, and bewailed by others as the destruction of all liberty. Recently, as it seems, the people of Maryland have been doing something to define liberty; and thanks to them that, in what they have done, the wolf’s dictionary has been repudiated.” On April 18, President Lincoln left his family in Washington some time after 2:00 pm and proceeded by train to Baltimore, arriving at 6:00 pm.  He was shown around the fair and spoke about 10:00 pm, after which he had a midnight dinner and retired for the night at a Baltimore mansion. The next morning he returned to Washington, on time to do his day’s work and attend the last White House reception of the season that night. In near fine condition. Double matted and framed with a rare carte-de-visite of Lincoln and his family. An exceptional presentation.

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He led the United States through the American Civil War, the country's greatest moral, cultural, constitutional, and political crisis, and in doing so preserved the Union of the United States of America, abolished slavery, and strengthened the federal government. Lincoln ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North in victory. The South was outraged by Lincoln's election, and in response secessionists implemented plans to leave the Union before he took office in March 1861. War began in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, just over a month after Lincoln's inauguration and, after years of deadly military conflict, officially ended on April 9, 1865, when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. On April 14, 1865, just days after the war's end at Appomattox, Lincoln was attending a play at Ford's Theatre with his wife Mary when he was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln is remembered as the martyr hero of the United States and is consistently ranked as one of the greatest presidents in American history.

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