Abraham Lincoln: A Unique Silk Ribbon Worn by Honorary Pall Bearer Senator Ben Wade of Ohio, Along with a Scarce Autographed Carte de Visite Photograph. As the printed "Order of the Procession" states, Wade was one of six men selected as Honorary Pallbearers to represent the United States' Senate. These men would walk behind the hearse bearing the slain President's body in the April 19, 1865 Civic Procession. U.S. Grant would be among the Army's representatives, Schuyler Colfax from the House of Representatives, and Admiral David Farragut from the Navy. Following them would come the Lincoln Family, the Vice President, the Cabinet, ex-Presidents, the Diplomatic Corps and the Justices of the Supreme Court. Bringing up the rear: governors, Congressmen, state legislators, and many more distinguished personages. It was a spectacle and an outpouring of national grief never seen before or since.
The display presented here includes the unique 2.5" x 5.5" ribbon, marked "Ohio" and dated April 19, 1865, which was worn by Wade. It was removed from #20 of 75 "Special Illustrators' Editions" of Ida M. Tarbell's famous two-volume Life of Abraham Lincoln. Tipped in among the pages of these special editions were original items of Lincoln ephemera collected by Tarbell while researching her Lincoln biography. #20 was personally presented by her to industrialist and prominent book collector William Hartmann Woodin, who would later serve as Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin D. Roosevelt. These volumes found their way into the library of the late Ohio attorney Thomas Markworth, who carefully removed the original Tarbell mementos to preserve them. We have never seen another example of this unique Lincoln mourning ribbon, which was distributed only to dignitaries on that occasion.
Two other items are framed together with the pallbearer's ribbon: a Matthew Brady carte de visite, boldly signed "Ben Wade Ohio," and a pamphlet titled "Arrangements for the Memorial Service on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln," delivered to both Houses of Congress on April 12, 1866 by the Honorable George Bancroft.
The signed photo and ribbon comprise an important and evocative relic from one of the most prominent figures in President Lincoln's funeral procession. All three pieces are in excellent condition. The ribbon has old pin marks at the top where it was affixed to Ben Wade's coat on that sad day. Nicely matted and framed to 14" x 16".