NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Offbeat

August 18, 2009

Expert: Ohio man may have a late Lincoln signature

SOUTH AMHERST, Ohio (AP) — An expert at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library says he thinks an Ohio man's flea-market find is one of the last Lincoln signatures.

It's on an envelope that was with papers Bruce Steiner bought in 2006 in South Amherst, 30 miles southwest of Cleveland. The writing says: "Let this man enter with this note. April 14, 1865," and it's signed "A. Lincoln." The date is the day the president was shot.

A handwriting analysis has been done by John Lupton, who's involved in a project to preserve Lincoln's paper at the Lincoln library in Springfield, Ill. Lupton says he's "pretty sure" the signature is genuine, because it has Lincoln's distinct characteristics.

A Lincoln memorabilia dealer says it could be worth up to $25,000. Steiner says he paid about $20 for the papers.

Steiner doesn't plan to sell.

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