Tags: lost | lincoln | document | found

Lost Lincoln Document Found When College President Cleans Closet

Image:  Lost Lincoln Document Found When College President Cleans Closet

Monday, 10 Jun 2013 09:25 AM

By Newsmax Wires

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A Pennsylvania college president who was cleaning out his office last week stumbled across a lost document signed by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago.

Lycoming College President James Douthat, who will retire at the end of the month after 24 years, was cleaning out a closet in his office last week when he found the certificate signed by Lincoln in 1863 that named the college's founder a Civil War chaplain, The Associated Press reported.

Displayed inside a slightly worn black frame, the certificate itself appears to be in good condition. Lincoln's neat signature is clearly visible, just above an ornate, patriotic-themed imprint at the bottom of the commission certificate for Methodist clergy Benjamin Crever.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals?

"In the back of my mind, I remember hearing about it," Douthat told the AP. But he never went looking for it and didn't know what it looked like.

Douthat initially thought the frame was an access panel — the kind to get to interior plumbing, for instance.

"When I took it down, of course I recognized Lincoln's signature immediately," he said. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton also signed the document.

"I assume it was in the top of the closet 24 years ago," Douthat said. "I had never seen it."

College officials say they always knew they had it in their possession. Somewhere.

"It was (initially) discovered a while ago," associate dean and library director Janet McNeil Hurlbert said in her office as she proudly displayed the document on a table. "And then it got ... put someplace else for a while."

Word of the document's rediscovery sprouted slightly different theories of how it might have been misplaced.

It could have been in the closet all along during Douthat's tenure. Or maybe someone brought it to his office to show Douthat, but, unbeknownst to him, it got stored away in the back of that shelf.

A preliminary appraisal has valued the certificate at more than $6,000. For Lycoming, a school of about 1,400 students in central Pennslyvania, its added value is its proud connection to founder Crever.

"It was a pleasant surprise just to see it," Douthat said.

John Brinsfield, a U.S. Army Chaplain Corps historian emeritus, said Crever was one of 500 Union hospital chaplains. Crever was assigned to the military hospital in Frederick, Md., and served between July 1862 and August 1865, a period that would have included the major battles in the region at Antietam and Gettysburg.

"Civil War commissions of any type are rare because they were sent to the individual chaplains," Brinsfield wrote in an email. "If any exist, it is only because the families saved them."

Until the school decides where to permanently place the document, it will be kept in the college archives in the basement of the library.

But one thing's assured: "We will know exactly where it will be from now on," McNeil Hurlbert said.

In Philadelphia, The Raab Collection recently sold for $11,000 a similar certificate signed by Lincoln that appointed Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's brother-in-law as a hospital chaplain, said Nathan Raab, vice president for the historical document dealer.

Urgent Poll: Is the US Economy Healthy? Is it a Bubble About to Burst Again? Vote Now

The powerful story behind the certificates, Raab said, was that Lincoln approved the chaplains in the first place.

The renewed interest in Lincoln — including last year's epic film biography by Steven Spielberg — and the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War have also added allure to such documents.

Related stories:

Obama's Lincoln Delusion


Here's Why Oscar Snubbed 'Lincoln'

Bill Clinton Receives 2013 Lincoln Leadership Prize

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Tapeworm in Brain of Man for 4 Years Removed by Surgeons

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 17:33 PM

A tapeworm that not only lived in a man's brain for four years but traveled from one side of the brain to the other has  . . .

Window Washer's 11-Story Fall Ends Atop Car - He Survived!

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 17:14 PM

A window washer survived with critical injuries after falling 11 stories from the roof of a San Francisco bank building  . . .

Georgia O'Keefe $44 Million Painting Most for Woman Artist

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 16:49 PM

A new world auction record for women artists was set when a painting by late American artist Georgia O'Keeffe sold for m . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved