This Memorial Day, historical collectors have the opportunity to snag a rare Civil War item: a document believed to be the only one with the signatures of President Abraham Lincoln and his fellow Union political and military leaders.
The document is from 1861 and bears the signatures of Lincoln and other Union leaders, according to the Raab Collection, which is putting it up for sale on Memorial Day.
Lincoln, the members of his cabinet and Union army leaders signed the document — now valued at $150,000 — so it could be sold for the benefit of The United States Sanitary Commission, a privately funded agency responsible for raising money to support sick and wounded Union soldiers.
Despite being an arm of the War Department and Medical Bureau, the sanitary commission received no federal funding. It was fairly new at the time, according to the Raab Collection, and looking for seed money.
Other notable signatories include Gen. Robert Anderson — who led the Union Army in the first battle of the Civil War at Fort Sumter — and Lincoln’s secretary of state, William H. Seward.
Raab says it will donate $15,000 of the proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, which supports homes for military veterans and their families to receive treatment and recover in the United States and Europe.
“It is nice to think that this document will play a role in helping wounded troops twice over the course of more than 150 years,” said Nathan Raab, one of the principals of the collection.