1 page, oblong (2½ x 7½ in.), clipped from a larger sheet." />
3 December 2007
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph endorsement signed ("A. Lincoln"), as President, 22 September 1864. 1 page, oblong (2½ x 7½ in.), clipped from a larger sheet.
"I SHALL BE GLAD IF THIS LADY CAN GET THE DESIRED EMPLOYMENT."
LINCOLN HELPS A WOMAN LOOKING FOR WORK in this short note: "I Shall be glad if this lady can get the desired employment." The lady in question, Mrs. S. C. Miller, approached him on the steps of the Capitol building in September 1864, and pleaded her need to the President. Unthinkable in today's mega-security age, Lincoln was approached quite often on the streets of Washington by ordinary citizens. Walt Whitman fondly recalled his (literally) nodding acquaintance with Lincoln during the Civil War. Indeed, the President threw open his White House office for a portion of every day to whomever wanted an audience, often to the exasperation of his secretaries Nicolay and Hay. This note for Mrs. Miller is strongly reminiscent of his famous--and equally short--letter addressed to Major Ramsey on behalf of another woman, Mrs. Buckley, 17 October 1861: "The lady--bearer of this--says she has two sons who want to work. Set them at it, if possible. Wanting to work is so rare a merit, that it should be encouraged." The quintessential self-made man, Lincoln admired those who showed energy, ambition and a thirst for improvement. He was ever ready to assist. (The Ramsey letter was sold as part of the Malcolm Forbes [ex Oliver R. Barrett] Collection, Christie's New York, 27 March 2002, lot 87, $600,000). Not in Basler or Supplements.
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Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous
Ahead of the sale of portraits of four different muses, we focus on the women the artist came to depend on so passionately