What would you pay for Abraham Lincoln's hair? An 1861 letter written by actor John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's future assassin, to a friend boasting about his career and value (AP photos)
What would you pay for Abraham Lincoln's hair?
Lexile

A collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia has been sold at auction. It includes a lock of the slain president's hair. The collection sold for more than $800,000.

The Donald P. Dow collection brought top bids totaling $803,889. The amount doubled expectations, said Eric Bradley. He is spokesman for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

Greg Dow said his father, who died five years ago, was fascinated with presidential assassinations.

The lock of hair was taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes. The physician obtained it shortly after Lincoln was shot in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. It sold for $25,000.

An 1861 letter, written by Booth to a friend, boasted about his career and value as an actor. It sold for $30,000.

The Booth letter is very rare and valuable. That's because the public was so disgusted by Booth's crime. Almost all letters, signatures and documents mentioning him were destroyed after Lincoln's death. That is according to Don Ackerman. He is consignment director for Historical Americana at Heritage Auctions.

"I doubt we'll ever see a grouping like this outside of a museum setting," Ackerman said.

Here are some of the other items.

A clipping of linen from Lincoln's death bed and stained with Lincoln's blood sold for $6,000.

An 1864 letter signed by Lincoln and authorizing a prisoner-of-war swap sold for $27,000. The swap involved Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's son from a Union POW camp.

A display of photographs and autographs from Lincoln, Booth and Boston Corbett. Corbett is the soldier who shot and killed Booth. The set is nicknamed "The Martyr, The Assassin and The Avenger." It sold for $30,000.

A set of four oil paintings created for a carnival side show sold for $30,000. The show displayed the mummified remains of a man claimed to be Booth.

Booth's military arrest warrant sold for $21,250.

A framed White House Funeral Admittance Card sold for $11,875.

A letter signed by Mary Todd Lincoln on her personal mourning stationery sold for $10,625.

Critical thinking challenge: "The Martyr, The Assassin and The Avenger refers to who?

Assigned 17 times


COMMENTS (6)
  • JoshG-Mau
    2/05/2015 - 11:20 a.m.

    why would someone want his hair.He might be famous but how dose the hair do with him i mean 25,000 dollars just for hair

  • trent3-Bla
    2/05/2015 - 12:41 p.m.

    I think it is kind of cool but I do not think it is worth it.

  • olivia15-Bla
    2/05/2015 - 01:14 p.m.

    Who would want to spend 800,000 dollars on Abraham Lincolns hair? For only 1 piece!! Its not worth it..

  • AugustH-5
    2/05/2015 - 10:55 p.m.

    There was a auction for Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. All the memorabilia was sold fora total of $800,000. The main piece that was up for auction was a part of Abraham Lincolns hair. The hair was taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes. The surgeon got a hold of the hair in 1865 when Lincoln was shot. The lock of hair sold for $25,000. I can see why Abraham's Lincoln's hair could be sold for so much. Abraham Lincoln is very important person in American history, but I would never pay so much for a lock of hair.

  • KatelynS-Alb
    2/08/2015 - 04:57 p.m.

    I thought this article would be interesting but it turned out to be kinda gross. What makes this article gross is what is being sold. A clipping of linen from Lincoln's death bed and stained with his blood sold for $6K? Really? I get that he was a very important person, yet that's going a bit over board! What would the person who bought the clipping of linen do with it? Maybe they framed it and displayed it in their house! How creepy!

  • John0724-YYCA
    6/25/2015 - 06:02 p.m.

    Well I think that the auction was very expensive and had a lot of things that was kind of useless like the clipping of linen from Lincoln's death bed and like the set of four oil paintings created for a carnival side show which so many people wasted there money for. I think if I were them I would keep the money and use it on something even more better than just some old stuff.

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