Autograph album published by J .B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia; Nearly every page of the album bears an autograph, mostly signed -one per page and on one side only.
Remarkably, while the vast majority of the signers are R.I. volunteer soldiers and minor officers, this album bas been signed by the commander-in-chief (Abraham Lincoln), the head of the Army (Winfield Scott), Rhode Island’s most famous general (Ambrose E. Burnside) and one of Rhode Island IS most controversial war- time figures (Governor William Sprague)
The first leaf after the title page is boldly autographed at top by “Abraham Lincoln / July 5, 1861.” A fine example, this signature is also a rarity in this format, as the President almost never- signed his full name except where and when required on official documents. The immediately following pages are signed, respectively: “Winfield Scott: U.S .A. / July 5, 1861,11 “Yours Sincerely / A.E. Burnside / Washington / June 30″ 61″ and ” ••• Wm Sprague / Washington / June 28th, 1861. The latter two men would both be engaged, in less than a month, in the battle of 1st Bull Run.
In this case the historical document contained, the rare, full signature of Abraham Lincoln, in the context of an autograph album for a Union Army non-commissioned officer two months after the start of the conflict suspends convention and sets this album apart from the ordinary. It is clear to this appraiser that the President meant this autograph and those of his generals as a meaningful gesture to the common soldier under his supreme command and I valued the work accordingly.