On April 3rd, Sotheby’s auction house in New York, NY is holding an auction of incredible presidential letters and other documents. Apparently, the gem of this auction will be a letter President Lincoln wrote in response to a petition sent to him by Massachusetts school children, pleading with him to free the “little slave children.” The petition, titled “Children’s Petition to the President asking him to free all the little slave children in this country,” was signed by 195 boys and girls and was sent to Lincoln in April 1864.

Lincoln replied at once, on April 5, 1864. In the letter, Lincoln wrote that he had a passionate desire to see the end of slavery, but that he felt he didn’t have the power, but that God did. He wrote: “and that, 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.” Eloquent as always.

The image on the right is of the letter. Sotheby’s estimates it could bring as much as $5 million, breaking the previous record ($3.1 million) for a Lincoln manuscript or letter. Wow.

Story and photo come from AuburnPub.com of Auburn, New York. Auburn was the home of Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward.