A lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair together with a war telegram wrap stained with the former president’s blood was sold at an auction for $81,000.
Artifacts related to the former US president Abraham Lincoln sold at an auction amounted to $81,000. Specifically, the Abe Lincoln items include a lock of his hair and a telegram said to be smeared with his blood following his 1865 assassination.
Valuable Historical Items
Boston-based RR Auction initiated the bidding of the items, which ended on Saturday, per CNN. The details about the buyer remained anonymous, according to the auction house. The final price surpassed the original estimated cost for the items at $75,000.
A lock of President Abraham Lincoln's hair and a telegram smeared with his blood sold for more than $81,000 at auction https://t.co/yfvGj4fDt5
— CNN Business (@CNNBusiness) September 15, 2020
The former president’s hair came from Lincoln’s postmortem examination. The lock actually measures at about two inches (or five centimeters). Also, the hair came a day after Lincoln’s assassination at the Ford Theater in Washington, DC. The auction house claims that Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd, first lady Mary Todd’s cousin, provided the hair.
Todd wrapped the hair using an official War Department telegram he got from his pocket. The doctor’s son wrote in a caption that Lincoln’s blood and brain fluid stained the hair. Todd also labeled the item in pencil with: “Hair of A. Lincoln.”
According to Todd’s son, James Todd, in a 1945 letter, the items “remained entirely in the custody of our family since that time.”
Moreover, Todd and the former president also knew each other when Lincoln’s family visited Lexington prior to the Civil War. In addition, Todd also served as postmaster in Lexington. His appointment happened during Lincoln’s administration.
Furthermore, James also told that his father, along with Col. Vincent, stayed with the former president’s bedside during his final hours. Todd also attended Lincoln’s funeral and burial in Illinois.
Authenticity of the Memorabilia
The auction house claimed that the items relating to the 16th US president are authentic. According to RR Auction’s executive vice president, Bobby Livingston, “We know that this came from a family member who was at the President’s bedside.”
CNN further reported that the auction house also has other Lincoln-related items until October 7, including documents signed by the former president himself.