Robert Todd Lincoln Letter Signed as Secretary of War


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Son of President Abraham Lincoln (1843–1926) who served as Secretary of War in the Garfield and Arthur administrations. Manuscript letter signed (LS) “Robert T. Lincoln”, two-pages, lightly-lined on two adjoining sheets, 8 x 10.25, War Department letterhead, November 2, 1883.

Lincoln was in charge of the engineers, who, in 1883, worked with the city of Washington, the nation’s capitol, to build a tunnel into the city to increase water supply.

The letter reads:

Gentlemen, I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 30th ultimo protesting against the award of a contract for work on the new water supply works of Washington DC to Beckwith and Quackenbush and claiming that the contract should be awarded to you for the reason that you were the lowest bidders and to state in reply that I have re-examined the papers in the case either in them or in the statements contained in your communication to change the views which led me to approve the recommendation of Major Lydecker the officer in charge of the improvements and General Wright the Chief of Engineers.

The Lincoln and Beckwith families would intermarry.