Raynors 2020-05 Putnal
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/30/2020
Autograph Letter Signed "J.P. Benjamin" 2pp. octavo, London, September 1, 1865, to Gen. Edwin Gray Lee. "I have just arrived in London and find the public affairs of the Confederacy in lamentable disorder. I am closing up the accounts of all agents of the Department and collecting the funds remaining on hand to pay the most sacred claims against the Government, among which the first and most pressing is that of the President and his family, and as I know that Mrs. Davis is entirely without resources. I have therefore to beg that you will as speedily as possible forward me your account, and remit the unexpended balance of the funds I sent you to Canada." He signed as "Judah P. Benjamin, Sec. of State," making this one of the final documents ever signed as a Confederate Government official. Fine condition. On September 5, Benjamin left for France to begin his new, post-war life. Lee had been disbursing some of the monies he held in Canada. Hearing that Robert E. Lee lacked funds, Edwin sent him $1,350 in June which the former commander acknowledged receiving. On September 2, Lee gave Lincoln-kidnapping conspirator Surratt $100 to pay for his escape to Europe and safety, which was accomplished successfully. In mid-September, Lee gave his cousin a check for $3,538.82 to be delivered to General Pendleton in Virginia to be distributed to Southern widows, orphans and poor soldiers. On October 10, he sent $100 to Gen. George Pickett, who had escaped to Canada. Then, after weeks in transit, this letter from Benjamin reached him, as Mrs. Levin's book specifically confirms. In response, Lee took the remaining Confederate funds in Canada and sent them to Benjamin in a bill of exchange for 923.12 pounds, along with a letter explaining how he had disbursed the other monies. Benjamin answered in late October, saying "You have, in appropriating portions of the money in your hands for such sacred purposes as…aiding Gen'l Lee and sending relief to our destitute officers and soldiers in Virginia, made a use of the funds…in a manner that is warmly approved by me…" The delivery of this letter to Lee and his response almost surely constituted the last transaction of the Confederate Secret Service, and the disposal of the last funds outstanding on account for the Confederacy.
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Judah Benjamin Gives the Order to Disburse the Last Funds of the Confederacy

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $4,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $5,312.50
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,500
Auction closed on Saturday, May 30, 2020.
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