Sep 29, 2022 - Sale 2615

Sale 2615 - Lot 262

Price Realized: $ 4,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
(GIDEON WELLES.) Pass for President Lincoln's White House funeral. Engraved black-bordered invitation on card, 3 1/4 x 5 inches, specifying the East Wing; minimal foxing. [Washington], 19 April 1865

Additional Details

Attendance at Lincoln's White House funeral service was limited due to space considerations. The Washington Evening Star described it as "the most solemn day in the history of Washington" and detailed the arrangements:

"During the forenoon various bodies had met at the Treasury Department, separate rooms having been assigned to them, and to these Assistant Secretary Harrington, who had charge of the arrangements, delivered tickets of admission to the Executive Mansion. They included the Assistant Secretaries . . . Senators and Representatives in Congress, Governors of the several states, the Judiciary, and others of prominence. None could enter the mansion without tickets, room having been provided for 600 persons only up on the raised platform steps on the east, north, and south side of the room. The corpse lay about the center, space being reserved all around the catafalque, with chairs for the occupation of the family of the deceased. At eleven o'clock the invited personages began to arrive. . . . At noon the President of the United States entered in company with his Cabinet. . . . Behind Mr. Hamlin were Chief Justice Chase, and Secretaries Welles, Dennison, Speed, and Usher." Immediately after the services, the coffin was taken on a funeral procession down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Provenance: from the collection of Thomas Welles Brainard, great-great-grandson of Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.