Contact Siegel
6 West 48th Street
9th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Contact by phone:
New York: (212) 753-6421
Dallas: (214) 754-5991

Sale 1237 — American Free Franks and Historical Documents

Sale Date — Tuesday, 22 June, 2021

Category — Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinley

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
86
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 86, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAbraham Lincoln, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln. Clear free frank "A. Lincoln" as President on mourning envelope addressed by Mary Todd Lincoln to Madame Harris & Sons in New York City, well-struck "Washington D.C. Apr. 8, 1862" double-circle datestamp, top flap mostly separated

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

E. 10,000-15,000
60,000
87
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 87, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAbraham Lincoln, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln. Free frank "A. Lincoln" as President on cover to Betsey Holden in Chelsea Mass., neat "Washington D.C. Mar. 13, 186?" circular datestamp, some expert restoration

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

E. 5,000-7,500
5,750
Back to Top
88
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 88, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAbraham Lincoln, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln. Free frank "A. Lincoln" as President on cover to Mrs. Henry Barrow in New York, light strike of "Washington Free Dec. 20, 1864" double-circle datestamp, docketed at left "Mrs. President Lincoln Dec. 1864", expertly restored along edges

VERY FINE APPEARING EXAMPLE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S FREE FRANK AS PRESIDENT.

This cover is addressed in the hand of Mary Todd Lincoln.

E. 5,000-7,500
5,500
Back to Top
89
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 89, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAbraham Lincoln, Abraham LincolnAbraham Lincoln. Free frank "A. Lincoln" as President on legal-size cover addressed to Hon. Leonard Myers and Hon. William D. Kelley at the House of Representatives, no postal markings so likely privately carried, expertly restored and cleaned (affects frank)

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.

E. 3,000-4,000
3,750
Back to Top
90
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 90, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinley"Lincoln" and Stars Mourning Cancel, "Lincoln" and Stars Mourning Cancel"Lincoln" and Stars Mourning Cancel. Negative "Lincoln" and 13 stars, in black, with matching "Albany N.Y. Oct. 17" circular datestamp on cover to Canoga N.Y. and additionally franked with signature of Senator Ira Harris of New York; closed cover tear at top, far from markings, still Very Fine, ex Risvold

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.

E. 1,000-1,500
1,400
Back to Top
91
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 91, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Autograph free frank "USS Andrew Johnson" as Senator, on cover addressed in his hand to Washington, tiny light gum stain in "S", otherwise immaculate, Extremely Fine

E. 500-750
600
Back to Top
92
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 92, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Free frank "Free U.S.S. Andrew Johnson" on cover to George A. Howard in Annapolis Md., "Washington City D.C. Jan. 24, 1859" circular datestamp, receipt docketing at lower left, some edgewear including tear at top not affecting frank, missing part of top flap, still Very Fine

E. 500-750
600
Back to Top
93
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 93, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Free frank "Free Andrew Johnson USS" on cover to Ohio, some creasing and edgewear, still Very Fine

E. 300-400
425
Back to Top
94
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 94, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Free frank "U.S.S. Andrew Johnson" as Senator on legal-size cover to Boston, "Washington City D.C. Free Aug. 18" circular datestamp, vertical file fold and few edge flaws, still Very Fine

E. 500-750
0
Back to Top
95
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 95, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Free frank "Free U.S.S. Andrew Johnson" as Senator on cover front only to G. Williston in Suffield Conn., fresh and Very Fine

E. 400-500
800
Back to Top
96
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 96, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Free frank "Andrew Johnson" as Senator on cover front only with printed "Public Document. Free." and "U.S.S.", small nicks at sides, still Very Fine and unusual

E. 300-400
275
Back to Top
97
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 97, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Signature "Andrew Johnson" as President on part-printed pardon dated Dec. 26, 1868, some slight edgewear, some rust from paper clip at top left, still Very Fine

E. 500-750
1,200
Back to Top
98
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 98, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyAndrew Johnson, Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson. Attempted free frank "Free Andrew Johnson Ex Pres. US" on cover to Atlanta Ga., bold "Greenville Tenn. Apr. 5" circular datestamp, toned spot at top right, repaired tear and stamp removed from top left, still Fine, an Act of Congress eliminated the franking privileges of all ex-Presidents as of July 1, 1863, after he left the Presidency he franked several covers, some of which had additional stamps, ex Dr. Robertson

E. 500-750
375
Back to Top
99
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 99, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyUlysses S. Grant, Ulysses S. GrantUlysses S. Grant. Free frank "U.S. Grant" on cover to "Ministers & Consuls of The United States In Europe" in Washington D.C., small sealed tear at top barely affects free frank, still Very Fine

E. 500-750
950
Back to Top
100
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 100, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyUlysses S. Grant, Ulysses S. GrantUlysses S. Grant. Free frank "U. S. Grant" as President on Executive Mansion cover with "printed "Secretary" crossed out, to A. E. Borie, care of the U.S. Legation in Paris, France, addressed in Grant's hand, opening tear at right, minor edgewear, Very Fine, the recipient was Secretary of the Navy

E. 750-1,000
1,000
Back to Top
101
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 101, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyRutherford B. Hayes, Rutherford B. HayesRutherford B. Hayes. 1pp ALS "R. B. Hayes" datelined "Cin. 9th Aug. 1869", Very Fine, ex Matz (small backstamp shows thru)

E. 200-300
225
Back to Top
102
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 102, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyRutherford B. Hayes, Rutherford B. HayesRutherford B. Hayes. Signature "Rutherford B. Hayes 1891" on card from Tilson & Sons photographer in Steubenville O., with photo of Hayes, Very Fine and attractive

E. 300-400
600
Back to Top
103
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 103, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyJames A. Garfield, James A. GarfieldJames A. Garfield. Three free franks "J. A. Garfield" as member of Congress, one on "40th Congress, House of Representatives" overall illustrated cover (rebacked, uneven at right) to Randolph O., others with few small faults, Fine-Very Fine group

E. 500-750
800
Back to Top
104
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 104, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyJames A. Garfield, James A. GarfieldJames A. Garfield. 1pp ALS signed "J. A. Garfield", datelined "Menter Ohio July 3-80", some waterstaining, still Very Fine

E. 300-400
325
Back to Top
105
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 105, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyChester A. Arthur, Chester A. ArthurChester A. Arthur. Autograph free frank "C A A" as President at top left of "Executive Mansion" cover to San Francisco Cal. which is also addressed in his hand, neat "Washington D.C. Jul. 25 9 PM 1884" circular datestamp, receiving backstamp, mostly intact red wax seal on back, expertly restored at right

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.

E. 7,500-10,000
9,000
Back to Top
106
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 106, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyChester A. Arthur, Chester A. ArthurChester A. Arthur. Autograph free frank "C A A" as President at top right of "Executive Mansion" cover to the Secretary of the Interior, no postal markings so carried privately outside of the mails, Very Fine, scarce free frank on Executive Mansion cover, accompanied by engraved portrait of Arthur

E. 200-300
425
Back to Top
107
 
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 107, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyBenjamin Harrison, Benjamin HarrisonBenjamin Harrison. Letter signed "Benj Harrison" as ex-President on 2pp. letterhead from law firm of Harrison, Hines & Miller of Indianapolis dated Nov. 21, 1882, Very Fine

E. 200-300
200
Back to Top
108
c
Sale Number 1237, Lot Number 108, Presidential Free Franks: Abraham Lincoln thru William McKinleyWilliam McKinley, William McKinleyWilliam McKinley. Unauthorized franking signature "William McKinley" as President on Executive Mansion imprint cover addressed in his hand to the "U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Offices", missing top flap and tiny edge tears

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

E. 5,000-7,500
3,500
Back to Top
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved by Siegel Auction Galleries Inc. Information and images may be used with credit to Siegel Auction Galleries or siegelauctions.com subject to guidelines and restrictions.
Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy