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A little piece of History found

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posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 06:17 AM
Never know where to post 'history' items that are relatively current and not ancient so I am posting under Current events in regards to its discovery being present day.

Mods, sorry in advance.

Letter from Honest Abe found in the archives

While searching for items in the archives relating to an upcoming documentary currently being worked on, archivist Trevor Plante found the letter mixed in with some other memorabilia of the era.

The note was found three weeks ago at the archives among documents long open to researchers and was known to have existed because Halleck cited it in a telegram, said archivist Trevor Plante, the Civil War specialist who found it.

The very short letter from Lincoln displayed his wishes of the war coming to an end sooner rather then later.

The note from Lincoln to Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck was written on July 7, 1863, four days after the defeat of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and three days after the city of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River fell to Union forces.

The contents of the letter...

"We have certain information that Vicksburg surrendered to General Grant on the 4th of July. Now, if Gen. Meade can complete his work so gloriously prosecuted thus far, by the literal or substantial destruction of Lee's army, the rebellion will be over," the note says.

The document, signed "Yours truly, A. Lincoln," was written on War Department letterhead. Plante said in other writing Lincoln sometimes misspelled the word "literal" and sometimes spelled it correctly.

I find it fascinating how much history still lies dormant, waiting to be found.

"I was looking for something else and frankly where I found it was in an obscure place," he said.

The letter was in a collection known as the Generals' Papers, a hodgepodge of documents. The papers were transferred to the National Archives from the War Department in 1938. Before 1938 they had been held in a government garage.

"I was going through and just seeing kind of every day stuff and then turned the page and there was the Lincoln document," Plante said

Makes you wonder how many other important documents/information is just 'floating' around in some long forgotten achieves, never seeing the light of day.

Sad when you think about

posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 06:27 AM
Sorry for the conjumbulation of 'ex' tags. Tried to go back in to edit but got this..."Sorry, you are not allowed to edit or delete this post.

Ohhhh the good ol' days when editing was made easy.

posted on Jun, 8 2007 @ 04:44 PM
I work in a software company that has made a program for archives, and one of our clients had a similar story, although the document found wasn't as important as in this case.

The case I am talking about was a map from the 18th century, I think, from a famous cartographer of that time, that nobody knew that they had on that archive and that was found while moving some maps from their usual place because of some works that they were going to make in the archive.

Another, different, case happened in that same archive. An important document was found and presented to the archive's director. Some time after they noticed that they could not find the document anywhere, and time went by without they getting any clue to the whereabouts of the document. When the director reached his retirement and a new director went to his place he found the document closed in the old director's desk.

Yes, the archives should be well preserved and organised, but the only way of knowing if they are well organised is going through all of the documents of the archive.

This is easy when the archive is changing from the old system of cataloguing its documents to a computerized system because then they really need to go through all their catalog, or when they decide to scan the documents (the company where I work also does this work), but otherwise is very difficult to really know what an archive has.

PS: sorry if this is a little off-topic, but seeing in the news something about archives it's a rare event.

posted on Jun, 11 2007 @ 06:21 AM
Thanks ArMap,

Nice addition to the post.

In some cases, I think finding an old map would be more interesting than say, a document.

I love hearing about people just 'stumbling' across old portions of history when it was not their true intent.

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