Abraham Lincoln Presentation Firearm Goes Up for Auction

The Civil War carbine, presented by former President Abraham Lincoln to Kentucky Statesman John J. Crittenden, is one of the most historic Civil War era guns available

Learn more about the Lincoln presentation firearm 

ROCK ISLAND, Ill., Nov. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) will auction off a Civil War era carbine presented by former President Abraham Lincoln to Kentucky Statesman John J. Crittenden. It is the only known Lincoln presentation firearm still in private hands. Lincoln’s historic Burnside carbine is accompanied by a mahogany trunk and Crittenden memoirs, and carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000$300,000. It will be offered during the auction house’s December 9 – 11 Premier Firearms Auction.

The 16th President of the United States presented the firearm to Crittenden with a silver oval plaque on the stock which reads “Presented to the Hon. J.J. Crittenden by A. Lincoln President of the United States As a testimony of affectionate regards for his long patriotic services to which a grateful people will bear willing testimony. Feby 1st 1862.” The firearm stayed within the Crittenden family for over a century and was first sold in 1992.

“Anything connected to a man of Lincoln’s historic stature is primarily kept in museums,” said Kevin Hogan, President of Rock Island Auction Company. “You can sometimes find autographs and letters on the market, but an immensely historic piece like this is virtually unheard of. The carbine marks a critical time when these two men looked past their political differences to help preserve the Union.”

Lincoln presented the carbine shortly after Crittenden’s son, a Confederate general, was defeated in battle that January. Such a gift showed Lincoln’s continued confidence in Crittenden’s loyalty, despite the statesman’s divided household.

Lincoln famously said, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky,” illustrating Kentucky’s crucial role as a border state during the Civil War. Crittenden was one of the nation’s leading politicians during the early 19th century, the tumultuous antebellum era, and the early part of the Civil War. According to Kentucky historian Lowell H. Harrison, Crittenden was a highly influential and respected Union supporter in the border states.

Also offered in the auction are a Smith & Wesson owned by Theodore Roosevelt, a Winchester 1895 presented by Buffalo Bill, and a revolver attributed to outlaw Jesse James. The December Premier Firearms Auction is Rock Island Auction Company’s winter flagship event in fine arms collecting, featuring hundreds of the most historic firearms from around the world.

About Rock Island Auction Company     

Rock Island Auction Company is the world’s #1 auction company for firearms, bladed weapons and militaria. Founded in 1993 by its current CEO Patrick Hogan, RIAC continues to lead the industry with record sales numbers and their extensive and beautiful marketing efforts. Their 150,000 square foot campus consists of two buildings and hosts around 18+ auctions each year. They actively seek consignments, be it a single weapon or a collection of hundreds, a thousand-dollar item or one million. For more information, please visit www.rockislandauction.com or call 1-800-238-8022.

Media Contact:
Julia Patterson

SOURCE Rock Island Auction Company