New York, Feb 13: A rare manuscript of a speech by Abraham Lincoln calling on the country to unite amid civil war in 1864 sold at auction today for $3.4 million.
The sale was held at Christie's in New York on the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. It was a record for a US historical manuscript, according to the auction house, and inside the $3 million estimate.
"Now that the election is over, may not all, having a common interest, reunite in a common effort, to save our common country?" Lincoln wrote on Nov 10, 1864 shortly after he won re-election.
With President Barack Obama joining Lincoln bicentenniel celebrations in Washington, interest is high in the president who won the American Civil War and abolished slavery. Frequent comparisons have been made with Obama's calls for reconciliation and national resolve amidst worsening economic turmoil and bitter bipartisan political feuds.
A rural library in New York state owned the text since 1928 and decided to sell it to raise funds for a new building. Before the auction, the text had only been shown publicly once before in 1976, for a single day.
Christopher Coover, expert on manuscripts for Christie's, said the record price 'reflects the deep interest in Lincoln in the American public.'
Coover said that 'to most Americans he remains one of the most admirable presidents.... He is deeply revered for reuniting the nation after the secession war and defeating slavery." The text is in Lincoln's large and even handwriting, with a few corrections, on large and heavy sheets of white paper.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)