VERY FINE. ONLY TWELVE EXAMPLES OF THE CELEBRATED HANGING LINCOLN ENVELOPE ARE RECORDED, OF WHICH ONLY TWO ARE STAMPED WITH THE 10-CENT ROSE LITHOGRAPH GENERAL ISSUE. ONE OF THE GREATEST CONFEDERATE GENERAL ISSUE COVERS.
The Hanging Lincoln design is widely recognized as the most distinctive of all Civil War patriotics. In this extraordinary cartoon, President Lincoln is hanging upside down from a tree limb, with his symbolic axe and fence rail tied around his neck. The caption reads "Abe Lincoln the destroyer. He once split Rails. Now he has split the Union." To the left and right is the caption "The penalty of disregarding the constitution. Impeached, deposed, Tried and convicted" (there is a spelling correction from "diposed" to "deposed"). Standing beside Lincoln is a mustachioed Winfield Scott, labeled "Old Fuss n Feathers", dropping his sword and exclaiming "My glory is gone for ever." On the ground is the Union flag, captioned "The stars and stripes lie in the dust, Never to rise." A star at left has the caption "The southern star is rising" and the Confederate 11-star flag towers above with the caption "The stars and bars shall for ever wave triumphant." Along the bottom is the imprint "Copyright claimed. HM & WC Box 417 Nashville Tenn." Despite continuing investigation, we have been unable to uncover the identify of the publishers "HM & WC."
According to a census by the late John R. Hill Jr. (updated with two new discoveries), there are twelve genuine Hanging Lincoln patriotics (listed in date order): 1) Jul. 25, 1861, Marshall Tex. Paid 10; 2) Aug. 21, 1861, Nashville Ten., two 5c provisionals, ex Kimmel, Myers, Rudy, D.K. (Siegel Sale 1022, lot 1066, realized $60,000); 3) Aug. 30, 1861, Athens La. "Paid X", ex Hall (Siegel Sale 840, lot 27, realized $13,000); 4) Nov. 2, 1861, Bowling Green Ky., ex Dr. Howard Green (Siegel Sale 822, lot 225, realized $28,000); 5) Jan. 1, 1862, Nashville Ten., 5c Olive Green (Siegel Sale 933, lot 978, realized $11,500) ; 6) Jan. 4, 1862, Nashville Ten., 5c Olive Green; 7) Feb. 20, 1862, Cumberland Gap Ten., ms. Paid 5, ex Boshwit (Siegel Sale 940, lot 462, realized $11,000); 8) Apr. 15, 1862, Cartersville Miss., ms. Due 5; 9) Apr. 15, 1862, Camden Miss., 10c Rose, to Mrs. Mary Bowers, Oso Tex., the cover offered here; 10) Jun. 24, 1862, Camden Miss., 10c Rose, to Mrs. Mary Bowers, Oso Tex., same correspondence as No. 9; 11) date unknown to JRH, West Union S.C., ms. Due 5; and 12) privately carried and not postally used. In addition, there is a genuine envelope with fake markings and a stamp added.
This cover has been privately held since its discovery and this is the first time it has been offered at auction.