Autograph letter signed to Hiram Barney introducing Joseph Wright.



Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).


Autograph letter signed to Hiram Barney introducing Joseph Wright.


May 9, 1863.


This letter came down to me through my family, which circuitously wends its way back to Joseph Wright directly and through marriages. Having done fundraising for various charities throughout my adult life, I was struck by the wordsmith Lincoln crafting concise sentences that asked Barney to help Wright raise funds to take objects to the World Fair in Hamburg, Germany. Wright was, at that time, the minister plenipotentiary to Prussia. Lincoln and Wright were friends, both having served as congressmen, Wright in the 28th Congress from 1843 to 1845 and Lincoln in the 29th. When I acquired this letter, it seemed lonely to me and I have subsequently added companion pieces from all the US presidents and vice presidents.

Do spend a moment reacting as if you had received the letter from Lincoln. He is very persuasive in a most genteel manner. “I shall be glad if, by your acquaintance with the rich men, you can render him some assistance.”

That this letter and other documents are available for private collectors is wonderful to me. I realize I am but a steward for a period of time and I hope that they will pass on to others at some time, providing future collectors with the pleasure of owning and appreciating these items.


Ted Wendell