- From the Publisher
- Ford’s Theatre Ticket Voucher
- A Cup Half-Empty
- Who Were the Lincoln Life Guards?
- Kepi Controversy
- Primary Source Material: Manuscripts
- Overlooked Evidence: Lincoln in Pioneer Chicago
- “THE UNION Is DISSOLVED” The Charleston Mercury Broadside: Points of Authenticity and Variations
- Lincoln Letter Fraud on Ebay
- What He Really Thought of Lincoln: The Discovery of an Unpublished Letter by William F. Herndon
- The Sanitary Fair’s Gifts to President Lincoln
- Behind the Scenes At Federal Hall
- In The Marketplace
- LINCOLNPHILE (book reviews)
- The Annotated Lincoln
- Lincoln’s Campaign Biographies
- Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History
- “Lincoln” Hits the Screens
- We Have The War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861
- Homefront & Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War
- President James Buchanan and the Crisis of National Leadership
- Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln
- Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated With Our Greatest President.
- Abraham Lincoln: The Image of His Greatness.
- Letters to the Editor
- The Obvious Lincoln
- DeWitt Deaccession Debate
- Fake Lincoln Endorsement
- Historical inaccuracies found in CDV
- More on the Lincoln Avengers
- Cartoon Artist Identified
- Kepi Commentary
- An Item in Search of a Story
- Show & Tell
- Replicas For Sale
- Dueling Blogs
- Lincoln Artwork or Just Artwork?
- Devil with a Blue Dress On
- Breyer Model Horses
- Kudos on the new site!
- This daguerreotype looks like Lincoln, but is it Lincoln?
- What Is Lincoln’s Embalmer Worth?
- New Lincoln Stuff on the Market
- Rail Splinters
- Suspect Lincoln
- A Note from the Great Beyond
- ‘A. Lincoln’ Money Pit
- Added Cachet Value
- A Constant Flow of Fakes
- Problematic Copy Images
- Fraudulent Tintype
- If Only It Were Real!
- Rip-Off Ribbons
- Bogus Ballot
- “Ay, tear her tattered ensign down”
- Legit and Illegitimate Theater: The Ford’s Theatre Ticket
- Implausible Provenance
- Twice As [Not] Nice
- These Have Age, But Not Enough
- The Real and the Unreal
- Great Finds!
Fake Lincoln Endorsement
Dear Rail Splitter:
My colleagues searching for Abraham Lincoln documents at the National Archives recently made a discovery that I think may interest you. In September 2002, you offered a Lincoln document for sale, dated August 17, 1863, regarding Hiram Berdan, the recruiter and leader of Berdan’s sharpshooters. Lincoln expressed his desire to have Berdan promoted from colonel to brigadier general. Early in 2003, you wisely pulled it from your auction, as some had questioned its authenticity. According to your Summer/Fall 2003 article in The Railsplitter, it had first surfaced in 2001 in an Ohio auction. Experts you consulted raised enough questions for you to deem it “problematic.”
In 2008, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum purchased it as a legitimate document at a discounted price, though some staff questioned its authenticity.
In 2012, my colleague David Gerleman located the real document at the National Archives in the records of the Adjutant General’s Office. However, because it was an endorsement on an envelope and there was no addressee, he was not able immediately to connect it to the forgery we had in our database, as yet untranscribed.
Recently, we had occasion to revisit the legitimate document from the Adjutant General’s records and discovered that the forgery was also in our database. Careful comparison of the images of the two documents confirmed that the document now here at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a forgery and that the forger must have had access to the original or an excellent facsimile. Clearly, the forger sought to reproduce every stroke of the original.
I am pleased to enclose an image of the real document, and it is encouraging that we were able to find and remove the forgery from our database and bring closure to this story of yours from 2003. It is, indeed, one of the challenges of both manuscript collectors and dealers on one hand and documentary editors on the other to identify and avoid such crimes on the past.
Daniel W. Stowell
Director / Editor
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln
NOW AVAILABLE FROM THE RAIL SPLITTER PRESS:
Book Review Archive
- Act of Justice: Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War.
- The Dark Intrigue: The True Story of a Civil War Conspiracy.
- President Lincoln: the Duty of a Statesman.
- Lincoln’s Men: The President and His Private Secretaries.
- The Lincoln’s: Portrait of a Marriage.
- The Madness of Mary Lincoln.
- Lincoln the Inventor.
- Lincoln and New York.
Rail Splinters Archive
- Stereo view photographs of Abraham Lincoln statue damaged in 1906 San Francisco earthquake
- Lincoln in Film
- John Wilkes Booth? Probably not.
- Answer to the question “Whatever became of the Gillett collection?”
- What happened to the Gillette Collection?
- This Train is Bound for Glory
- Lincoln Ballots 1834-1864
- Lincoln Museum in Boise
- Lincoln at the Abolition Ball
- Where East Meets West
- A Prince of a Guy
- In Memoriam: C. Peter Scanlan
- Portrait of Lincoln Legal Associate Unearthed
- Thomas T. Eckert Archive: Telegraphic History of the Civil War
- Beethoven’s medium channels news of Lincoln’s Death by composing “The Funeral March”
- Where is Mary Todd Lincoln’s 1861 Inaugural Ball dress?
- The Meatball does The Sauceman (and The Rail Splitter) proud
- Lincoln “apparently not” a sexist
- Campaign woodcuts in illustrated magazines, symbolism or adornment?
- 1890 Wide-Awake Reunion program
- Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention Highlights
Past Print Issues