Sotheby's auctions rare Abe Lincoln letter

March 28, 2008 at 7:42 PM

NEW YORK, March 28 (UPI) -- A historic letter written in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln is set to be auctioned next week at Sotheby's in New York.

The letter is the feature item of a highly prized assortment of U.S. documents, which includes about 20 Lincoln pieces to be sold at the Sotheby's auction, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. The collection, which belongs to a New York doctor who spent 23 years gathering it, reportedly could go for up to $7.9 million.

The Lincoln letter, which is a response to a children's petition requesting the end of slavery reads, "While I have not the power to grant all they ask, I trust they will remember that God has, and that, as it seems, He wills to do it."

"This is a very moving piece because Lincoln was a lawyer and he parsed the issue of slavery very closely," said Selby Kiffer, a Sotheby's manuscript specialist.

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