Reading “Hon. Sec. of War, Please see this intelligent colored man, Mr. Delany – who wants to assist in raising colored troops. Feb. 21, 1865”, it sold at $50,000 (£36,495).
It was described by the New York saleroom as a Lincoln note of the highest impact, endorsing the recruitment plan of polymath Dr Martin Robison Delany, an abolitionist, physician, “father of Black nationalism”, recruiter of the 54th Massachusetts and, subsequent to his meeting with Lincoln, the highest-ranking African-American in the United States Army.
Sold at $7500 (£5475) was a copy of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, which though it was clearly identified as a “Thirteenth Thousand” example of the 1849 first edition was of special significance because it retained its defective but exceptionally rare dust jacket.
Bid to a far higher than expected $15,000 (£10,950) was an early 20th century Edison Universal Stock Ticker.
Now glass cased, it bears a plaque recording its significance in becoming the ubiquitous mechanical means for transmitting stock market data from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange to other brokers and investors, enabling trade to be done in almost real time.
The treats of Philadelphia
In a sale held on the same day by Freeman’s (26/20/12% buyer’s premium) of Philadelphia, the bidding was led at $55,000 (£40,145) by a 1776, second edition of Thomas Jefferys’ well-known America Atlas.
However, the surprise result was provided by a torn US Loan Office certificate made out in the sum of $5486.98 and dated January 9, 1800.
What attracted bidders was the fact that it was issued to James Monroe, governor of Virginia at the time but the man who in 1815 became only the fifth president of the US.
Endorsed by him as “Jas. Monroe”, as well as being counter-signed by John Hopkins, loan officer for Virginia, it had been estimated at just $500-800 but made $55,000 (£40,145).