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Featured Covers Gallery
February 2009 Issue of the NJPH Journal featuring a rare beardless Lincoln cover.
A December 15, Hoboken, NJ postmarked Embossed Cameo Campaign Envelope produced by William Eaves was offered this March by Robert A. Siegel Auctions featuring a beardless Abe Lincoln. Only a few examples are known. This Hoboken, New Jersey cover hammered on March 25, 2009 for $2600.00 before the 15% buyers premium!
Description from the March 25, 2009 Siegel Auction Lot 190:
“3c Dull Red, Ty. III (26). Deep shade, some clipped perfs, grid cancel, "Hoboken N-J Dec. 15" circular datestamp on yellow cover to Pleasant Valley N.Y. with blue embossed beardless Lincoln portrait surrounded by split rails, candidates' names and "House Divided" quote, Eaves imprint, Milgram AL-88, stamp lifted and hinged in place, cover lightly creased.
EXTREMELY FINE. THIS MARVELOUS EMBOSSED CAMEO BEARDLESS LINCOLN CAMPAIGN ENVELOPE WAS PRODUCED BY WILLIAM EAVES, THE FOREMOST PRODUCER OF CAMEO DESIGNS. ONLY A FEW EXAMPLES ARE KNOWN. Ex Matthies
This cover was apparently produced and in circulation before the November 6, 1860 election and wasn't used until the following month. A beardless Lincoln is an image we rarely see – and yet Lincoln did not grow a beard until he was elected President. The story goes that a young lady aged 11 in Westfield NY wrote to Mr. Lincoln, suggesting he would look much better with a beard, as his face was so slender. It must have been a picture much like this one that she was looking at when she wrote. A copy of her letter follows:
Hon A B Lincoln
Oct. 15, 1860
My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin's. I am a little girl only eleven years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much so I hope you wont think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am if so give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have got 4 brother's and part of them will vote for you any way and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husband's to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is a going to vote for you and if I was a man I would vote for you to but I will try and get every one to vote for you that I can I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty I have got a little baby sister she is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter direct to Grace Bedell Westfield Chatauque County New York
I must not write any more answer this letter right off Good bye
Lincoln replied to it immediately on October 19th, “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affect[ta]tion if I were to begin now?”
However he was amused by the letter, took the advice to heart, and carried it with him for many years.
Lincoln ran for his first term as President in 1860, with Hannibal Hamlin – a man he never met until after the election – as his Vice President. Hamlin served as VP from March 1861 to March 1865, when he was replaced by Andrew Johnson. Hamlin was the first Republican Vice-President to serve, from a party which had its origins in the 1850s. This cover may of course been used any December afterwards, but is most likely from 1860 – prior to Lincoln's election to his first term, and prior to the beard he began growing shortly after he was inaugurated as seen in a wood engraved portrait of Lincoln and his Cabinet that appeared in Harpers Weekly July 13, 1861.
Hamlin fell into some disfavor with the party who then chose Andrew Johnson, a Unionist Democrat, to run with Lincoln in 1864, believing he would add more to the ticket.
For further information see:
On Lincoln’s beard: http://www.angelfire.com/my/abrahamlincoln/Beard.html
Biographical Directory of the US Congress at
Mr. Lincloln’s White House at
Past Featured Covers
November 2008 Issue of the NJPH Journal featuring a cover of seasonal greeting.
A RFD ”Season’s Greetings” post card, cancelled December 24, 1915 with a Pittstown, NJ postmark, sent by the carrier on Route 2 out of Pittstown to the people along his route. Special thanks to Member Jim Walker for sharing this cover. Read more.....
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