Two documents signed by
Abraham Lincoln in his drive to abolish slavery in the 19th century have sold
for more than $4.5 million at Sotheby's on May 25, 2016 in New York.
Limited edition copies of the Emancipation
Proclamation delivered on January 1, 1863 and the 13th Amendment, which
abolished slavery two years later, were issued by Lincoln who has been
considered as the greatest US president.
The copy of the 13th amendment sold for $2.4 million,
while the proclamation bought by a telephone bidder for $2.17 million.
Lincoln signed the 13th amendment, which
abolished slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States, on February
1, 1865 after 70 years of discord over the status of slaves.
The copy sold is one of 14 signed by Lincoln,
his vice president, the speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax and by 36 senators.
The emancipation immediately enabled some 50,000
men, women and children to be set free while
the American Civil War, which started for the restoration of the Union,
turned to become a mission of
Signed copies of the proclamation were
advertised for $10 each in 1864 and sold to benefit the United States Sanitary
Commission, considered a forbearer of both the Red Cross and the United Service
Organization, Sotheby's said.
The auction house said before the sale that the
documents "represent crucial
milestones" in American history and remain pertinent today amid
renewed debate about racism in the United States.
In 2009 at Christie's, a manuscript of a Lincoln
speech urging the country to unite amid civil war sold in New York for $3.4 million,
then a record for a US historical document.
Last November, the final passage of Lincoln's
second inaugural address, which he wrote out and signed for a 10-year-old child,
a few weeks before he was assassinated in a theater in April 1865, sold in New
York for $2.2 million.