Lincoln's last signature?: Signed envelope, believed to be real, found at flea market





SOUTH AMHERST — "Let this man enter with this note. April 14, 1865. A. Lincoln."

The short sentence is written on a small envelope, tattered and discolored with age. But it has been a ticket to a big adventure for Bruce Steiner, who stumbled upon the lost fragment of history at the bottom of a box of assorted papers he purchased at Jamie's Flea Market in October 2006.

"I said it can't be real," Steiner recalled when he first laid eyes on the signature, dated the fateful day a bullet from John Wilkes Booth's Derringer ended Lincoln's life. Steiner, 56, a self-proclaimed Civil War buff, antique collector and amateur historian, said the note elicited skepticism from others as well...

...Why did the 16th president sign this envelope on his last day, perhaps only hours before donning his stovepipe hat and climbing into a carriage for his ride to Ford's Theatre?

"That's the $64,000 question," Lupton said. "I've talked to a few people who think it might have had something to do with getting into the White House. Lincoln had an open-door policy of letting people in to ask him questions."...



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