| “Two Centuries of American History,” Sotheby’s sale of rare books and manuscripts on May 26, charting the development of the United States of America, achieved $6,183,250. The auction was led by two highly significant documents signed by President Abraham Lincoln, the Thirteenth Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation.|
A rare manuscript copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, one of three “Senate” copies known to exist brought $2,410,000. A limited edition of the Emancipation Proclamation, the only version with the full text to be signed by Lincoln, sold for $2,170,000, above the high estimate of $2 million. This groundbreaking document not only declared some 4 million to be free, but also changed the mission of the Civil War from simply preserving the Union to eradicating slavery. It is one of 27 in existence, 19 of which are in institutions.