2020-07 2 sessions
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/24/2020
Great eye-witness account of seeing Abraham Lincoln and family at Ford's Theater and then the next day at a German Opera! Written by well-respected artist and illustrator WILLIAM HENRY SHELTON (1840-1932?) while an officer in Battery L, 1st New York Light Artillery. Less than a month after writing this letter, he was captured during the battle of the Wilderness, and confined at Camp Sorghum, Columbia, S. C. He escaped once and recaptured, but successfully got away during his second escape in November, 1864. His letter, 5pp. 8vo., date lined, "Culpepper, Va., April 9th 1864," to Cousin L. A. H. W., reads, in small part: "Sorry! but it cant be helped. I did not intend to leave you quite so abruptly, but orders come in that way and I must…submit to my destiny…passed direct to Baltimore - Washington. At the latter place…[on] Monday evening I heard Edwin Forest as Macbeth at Ford's Theater. The royal family occupied a box and formed the main attraction between the scenes. Mrs. Lincoln had a lady friend with her and each was clad in a real ermine cape surmounted by a white hat and feather. Little Isaac [Tad] was dressed in the uniform of an officer of the U. S. Navy. It is not expected that I shall speak of the clothes of Abraham the father although I am no great friend of the drama. I was well pleases with the acting of the great Forest. Macduff and Lady Macbeth did their parts pretty well in support of the king (Macbeth) but as is usually the case were not quite up to the star performance. Lady M. did particularly well…I was a little surprised on the next evening at the German Opera to see the Lincoln family again. A gentleman who sat next to me said rather seemingly that he believed the president attended the theaters instead of going to church. I told him that perhaps we ought to be at church instead. He said every man was his own judge of that…I added 'Old Abe included.'…I went to the 4th Arty. In crossing Mountain Run I found the farther end of the bridge washed away. I tied my horse on the bridge and with poles and earthy constructed a continuance of thus came off…I got my horse. Afterwards as I stooped down to wash my hands in the stream out fell my book and pictures which I caught when under water. Your was no harmed…when I just arrived at the encampment of Batty. L the log huts looked a little more contracted than usual and I had greater feeling, in the evening…to write to my friends…Wm. Henry Shelton." Minor toning, else VG
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Great Eye-Witness Abe Lincoln Ford's Theater Sighting-He Had Less Than A Year To Live After Enjoying MacBeth

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $750.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0.00
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Auction closed on Friday, July 24, 2020.
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