New York: A text written and signed by former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln for a 10-year-old boy, just weeks before his assassination, fetched a whopping $2.2 million, four times more than its minimum bid at an auction here.

In the manuscript dated March 1865, Lincoln signs his name and also writes the final passage of his second inaugural address for Linton Usher, son of his interior secretary John Usher.

It fetched $2,213,000 at the auction on Wednesday, selling for more than double its pre-auction estimate of $1,000,000 and more than four times the $500,000 minimum bid, Heritage Auctions said.

The collector who purchased it requested to remain anonymous. “This is just one of five manuscripts of that particular speech so it’s an understatement to call it rare,” Director of Rare Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions Sandra Palomino said.

“Lincoln was not one to just scribble a quote for someone. It’s likely that this was written on request.” 

10pt;">Found on the second blank leaf of the book, the Lincoln autograph comprises 13 lines of text and signature.

Lincoln wrote the final passage of his second inaugural address, words now immortalised on the memorial dedicated to the 16th president, “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan — to do all which may achieve, and cherish a just, and a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations. — Abraham Lincoln.”

Palomino said the Usher family has safeguarded this treasure since the Civil War.

Lincoln became the 16th U.S. President in 1861. Considered by many as America’s greatest president, he led the country through Civil War and in 1863 signed the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery. He was assassinated in 1865 in Washington.

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