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Before Abraham Lincoln became arguably one of the greatest and most influential presidents ever, he was a lawyer in Illinois and engaged in politics on a much smaller scale than America's highest office. This 8x6" fragment of a legal manuscript signed twice at its conclusion by Lincoln comes from 1853, eight years before he was sworn in as President. The end of the cut-off document reads, “Issac & gomben as above by agreement, Broadwell fr. q, Lincoln fr, a..” and “Harris & Lincoln pd deft. attorneys.” By the time this manuscript was drafted, Lincoln had already served a two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives in the late 1840s, but returned to practicing law after being denied a lucrative appointment by President Zachary Taylor, whom he had supported as a vociferous champion of the Whig Party. It was during this vocational revival that Lincoln was probably given the nickname "Honest Abe," which runs counter to the popular belief that he earned the moniker walking three miles to return a meager amount of change to a woman after overcharging her. Lincoln wasn't just focused on law during this period, he remained politically active, and in 1854 actually declined a seat in the Illinois legislature, angling instead for a spot in the U.S. Senate though he ultimately backed out of the race. This magnificent artifact from a pivotal time in the life of Lincoln comes with an LOA.
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