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Lincoln-signed statehood document sold at auction to WV buyer

By Rick Steelhammer, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginian was the successful bidder in last week’s online auction of an 1861 document signed by President Abraham Lincoln authorizing a Wheeling man to buy “arms and munitions of war” to protect citizens loyal to the federal government from Confederate soldiers.

A winning bid of $19,250 enabled the purchase of the document, signed by both Lincoln and Secretary of War Simon Cameron, according to Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles. A spokesman for the auction firm said the buyer is from West Virginia but does not want to be otherwise identified.

The online auction ended last Thursday. View the auction post for the letter at

The same document sold in 2020 for $13,589 during a similar auction held in Boston.

Details about the document

Lincoln’s signature on the document, described as “prominent, bold and full” by the auction house, authorized Wheeling banker and West Virginia statehood advocate Daniel Lamb to buy arms through a $2 million appropriation made by Congress on July 31, 1861.

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