Nov 21, 2012, 05.52 PM | Source: PTI
A proclamation signed by former US President Abraham Lincoln on April 19, 1861, that marked the official start of the American Civil War, is up for sale for a whopping USD 900,000.
The one-page document, authorised the blockade of Southern ports, which, under the international law, was an act of war. The Raab Collection in Philadelphia said it is selling the document, which it calls one of the most important in American history, for USD 900,000, CNN reported.
"The action was bold and with great risk," said Nathan Raab, vice president of The Raab Collection. "Lincoln was aware that the blockading of ports was an act of war. Some in his cabinet argued that a blockade would constitute recognition of the sovereignty of the Confederacy, something the North wanted to avoid. Lincoln was less interested in the legal definitions of 'war' than in victory, and he approved it despite the objections.".
The Supreme Court later ruled the document as the official start of the Civil War, Raab said. The privately owned document has been on exhibit for several years at public institutions across the country, including the National Constitution Center and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.
"It's been passed down to posterity quite well," Raab said. "It's survived the 150 years in good shape." On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, South Carolina, initiating the hostilities between North and South, the report said.
Three days later, Lincoln issued a proclamation that an insurrection existed, and he called out 75,000 men to put it down. Four days after that, on April 19, he ordered the Southern port blockade. Lincoln, the 16th US president, held office from March 4, 1861 to April 15, 1865.