• Lincoln Vice President Hamlin Responds To Collector's Request For His Hair

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    HANNIBAL HAMLIN (August 27, 1809 – July 4, 1891) served as the 15th vice president of the United States, from 1861 to 1865, during President Abraham Lincoln’s first time. He began his career as a Democrat in the Maine House of Representatives before being elected to the United States House of Representatives and then for the United States Senate.  With his strong abolitionist views, he left the Democratic Party for the newly formed Republican Party.


    One-page, 5 x 8, ALS, Bangor, ME, Feb. 24, 1891, to J.W. Eldridge, responding to a request for hair and his autograph.  Collecting the hair from prominent people was popular in the 19th century.


    Hamlin writes, “I am unable to give you any information of the hair work to which you refer. I have no recollection about it but if my autograph is connected with it, I think it may be reliable though I forget it.


    “The truth is that I have so many times given my Autograph, and frequently other things, that I fail to remember any of them. I think on several occasions some locks of my hair have been contributed. That is all I can say.


    “Yours truly


    “Hannibal Hamlin”


    Light toning. Else excellent. Rare to find a letter that mentions a request about one’s hair.


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