VERY FINE. A RARE LINCOLN FREE FRANK AS PRESIDENT ON A BLACK-BORDERED ENVELOPE, MOURNING THE DEATH OF HIS BELOVED SON, WILLIE, AND ADDRESSED BY THE FIRST LADY.
The Lincolns' third son, Willie, died on February 20, 1862, after an illness that has been attributed to typhoid fever. Lincoln is quoted as saying "My poor boy. He was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!". Willie was buried in nearby Georgetown. After the assassination of President Lincoln, the boy's body was exhumed and and his remains placed on the Lincoln funeral train which traveled back to Springfield, where he was buried with his father.
Madame Harris in New York City was a supplier of clothing to Mrs. Lincoln. After Willie's death, Mary Lincoln was inconsolable and began obsessively ordering hundreds of garments. This envelope is addressed by Mary Lincoln.
We offered a similar cover in our 2004 auction of the Dr. Robertson collection (Sale 887, lot 4106, realized $22,000 hammer). Ex Risvold
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S FREE FRANK.
The yeardate is difficult to read, but if it is 1861 then this would have been sent less than ten days after Lincoln was sworn in as President. With 1979 Hamilton certificate
VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S FREE FRANK AS PRESIDENT.
This cover is addressed in the hand of Mary Todd Lincoln.
FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S FREE FRANK.
Leonard Myers was elected to Congress in 1862 and served until 1875. William D. Kelley was a founder of the Republican party and served in Congress from 1861 to 1890.
Created by the Albany post office after Lincoln's assassination, this marking is usually found on the 3c 1861 Issue (Scott No. 65), but its use on a free-franked cover is very rare. Senator Ira Harris was the father of Clara Harris, who along with her fiance, Maj. Henry Rathbone, accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln to Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865. Years later (and still blaming himself for not acting more quickly to prevent Booth from shooting the President) Maj. Rathbone became deranged and murdered his wife.
VERY FINE APPEARANCE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF A CHESTER A. ARTHUR FREE FRANK ON AN EXECUTIVE MANSION COVER SENT THROUGH THE MAILS.
Chester A. Arthur was Vice President under Garfield, and he assumed the presidency after Garfield was assassinated. This is one of the keys to a complete collection of Presidential free franks.
VERY FINE. THIS IS THE ONLY RECORDED EXAMPLE OF ASSASSINATED PRESIDENT WILLIAM McKINLEY'S AUTOGRAPH FRANK.
William McKinley did not have free-franking privileges as President; therefore, envelopes bearing his signature are extremely rare. This cover was carried outside the mails. No other example has been located in major collections such as Hart, Hessel, Joyce, Stern or Grunin.
Ex Kantor and Dr. Robertson