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Lincoln & Civil War
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  • (LEE, ROBERT E.) Miley, Michael

    Portrait of Robert E. Lee. Lexington: Miley, c. 1869

    A rare portrait of Robert E. Lee inscribed by his wife: “Gen. R.E. Lee, taken at Lexington, Virginia, his home since the war. Mary Custis Lee.” The image was taken the year before Lee’s death by Michael Miley, “General Lee’s Photographer.”



    Autograph letter signed (“Richard H. Etheridge R.C.S. 36 U.S.C.T.”) to Bvt. Maj. Oren A. Hendrick. Brazos Santiago, Texas, 23 August 1866

    In this rare letter a distinguished African-American Civil War soldier writes to his old commanding officer and honors his sacrifice “for the rights and elevation of the Colored race.”



    Two photographs of the execution of Capt. Henry Wirz. Washington, November 10, 1865

    These famous photographs by renowned Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner  documents the execution of Andersonville prison commandant Henry Wirz. The event took place on November 10, 1865 in the courtyard of the Old Capitol Prison, now the site of the U.S. Supreme Court. 120 soldiers guarded the crowd of 200 spectators, while more onlookers clung to trees outside the prison yard. Gardner, who had photographed the execution of the Lincoln assassination conspirators in July, documented the event.

    two photographs: $16,000

  • (VALENTINE, DAVID T.) Mathew Brady Studio

    David T. Valentine. New York and Washington: Brady Studio, c. late 1850s

    This is a delightful Brady Imperial salt print portrait of one of the fascinating political and literary characters of mid-nineteenth-century New York, David T. Valentine.


  • (VANDERBILT, CORNELIUS, “Commodore.”) Mathew Brady Studio, attrib

    Cornelius Vanderbilt, vignetted standing portrait. [New York: Mathew Brady Studio, 1860s.]

    Founder of the Vanderbilt business dynasty, Cornelius Vanderbilt made his fortune first in steamships and shipping and then in railroads. His career spanned the birth of the steamship and the development of the great American railroad networks. He was “the oldest and perhaps the greatest of the nineteenth-century railroad barons” (ANB). Grand Central Station and Vanderbilt University stand as testaments to his influence and wealth.


  • (U.S. CAPITOL.) John Wood

    Marble column being carried on a cart to the Capitol. Washington, 1860

    This rare salt print shows a colossal marble column being carried to the Capitol during its construction. The enormous cart is being drawn by team of twelve or more horses.


  • (WISE, HENRY.) Mathew Brady Studio

    Henry A. Wise. New York and Washington: Brady Studio, c. late 1850s

    This is a dramatic full-length standing salt print portrait of Gov. Henry A. Wise by Mathew Brady.


  • (U.S. CAPITOL.) Photographer unidentified

    East Front of the Capitol. Washington, August 31, 1864

    This rare photograph shows the East Front of the U.S. Capitol during construction. Sawhorses and construction debris are visible in the foreground, while a number of figures, perhaps builders and the architect, stand at the head of the main stairs beneath Thomas Crawford’s pediment of The Progress of Civilization.


  • (U.S. CAPITOL.) Alexander Gardner

    East Front of the Capitol. Washington, c. 1864

    This photograph by Alexander Gardner shows the Capitol as it was during Lincoln’s presidency. Scaffolding, cranes, ladders, and other construction equipment are visible. The East Front of the Capitol was the site of Lincoln’s inaugurations in 1861 and 1865.



    Phosphate mining in South Carolina. South Carolina, c. 1867

    This huge 11 x 15 in. print documents the early mining of phosphate for fertilizer, a key postwar Southern industry. Dozens of black men dig phosphate from the ground around the Ashley River and load it into horse-drawn carts on rails. A white man leaning against a cart in the foreground looks directly at the camera. Most of the men are barefoot. The Ashley River is visible in the background.