[LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. 1809-1865.]
Wooden pencil with period endorsed envelope, reading in full: "This pencil is the one used by Abraham Lincoln in writing his dispatch from Richmond to Gen Grant- the week before he was assassinated. Given me by S.H. Beckwith of Gen Grant's staff. / Washington, 1865." Envelope is browned and worn and shows the clear impression of having contained this pencil; pencil lead is lacking from tip and is split in two.
PENCIL USED BY LINCOLN THE WEEK BEFORE THE ASSASSINATION according to the period envelope in which it was housed. This was perhaps the very pencil used to press the close of the Civil War. The S.H. Beckwith referred to in the note is Captain Samuel H. Beckwith (1840/6-1916), the telegraph and cipher officer to Ulysses S. Grant, nicknamed "Grant's shadow" by other staff officers. Lincoln was at Richmond surveying the damage on April 4 and 5, 1865. We find no record of a telegram from Lincoln to Grant on those two days. However, there were telegrams from Lincoln to Grant on April 6 and 7 when he was still in the vicinity, the latter being one of the most famous of the Civil War. The pencil with which that April 7 telegram was drafted is more likely to have been retained as a souvenir and the date is exactly a week before the shooting. Dated 11am on April 7, the telegram read in full: "Gen. Sheridan says: 'If the thing is pressed I think Lee will surrender.' Let the thing be pressed. A. Lincoln."