PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A document signed by President Abraham Lincoln ordering Union blockades of Confederate ports, marking the official start of the Civil War, is for sale.
The Raab Collection in Philadelphia said Tuesday it is selling the document, which it calls one of the most important in American history. The asking price is $900,000.
Lincoln’s proclamation is dated April 19, 1861 _ a week after the first shots of the conflict were fired at South Carolina’s Fort Sumter. After the Civil War ended in 1865, the U.S. Supreme Court in an opinion ascribed Lincoln’s April 19 blockade order as the official beginning of the war.
“This action was bold and with great risk,” said Nathan Raab, vice president of The Raab Collection. “Lincoln was aware that the blockading of ports was an act of war.”
Some of the president’s cabinet objected the move, saying it could be seen as a de facto recognition of the Confederate States of America as a sovereign nation because countries do not blockade their own ports. Lincoln, however, “was less interested in the legal definitions of `war’ than in victory, and he approved it despite the objections,” Raab said.
The document, which has been owned by a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous, was exhibited recently at museums including the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield, Ill.
The single-page manuscript authorizes Lincoln’s secretary of state to “affix the Seal of the United States to a Proclamation setting on foot a Blockade of the ports of the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.” The seal was affixed to the blockade proclamation announced that day, effectively declaring war on the Confederacy.
Between 1861 and 1865, the Union Navy blockade successfully crippled the Confederate economy by largely preventing the import of supplies and ammunition and the export of cotton and other trade goods to and from ports along 3,500 miles of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
The strategy, part of Gen. Winfield Scott’s so-called Anaconda Plan, is seen by historians as a key factor in the Union’s victory.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development