Thomas Eckert, Close Friend And Confidant Of Lincoln During The Civil War

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1878, Minnesota. Stock certificate for one share in the Saint Paul & Duluth Railroad Company. Black. Issued to The Western Union Telegraph Co. and endorsed on verso by Thomas Thompson Eckert. [(1825-1910). General manager, vice president and president of Western Union and a Union Army Officer.] as vice president. Vignettes of a steam locomotive at center, and steam paddleboats at left and right. Some wear at edges and one slight split at right edge, else Fine. Affixed to certificate is an “Executive Office Western Union Telegraph Company” document. One page, 8” x 10 1/2”. New York. November 20, 1885. The document is an “Extract from Minuets Special Meeting Executive Committee” authorizing the Acting President to sell shares in St. Paul and Duluth Railroad Company. With blind-embossed company seal. Edge wear and some soiling. In 1862, Edwin M. Stanton, the new Secretary of War, appointed Thomas Eckert as chief of the War Department telegraph office. An aggressive and able leader with a great deal of pre-war telegraph experience, Eckhart was largely credited with ensuring that the telegraph was successfully utilized by Union forces in the field. Throughout the war years, President Lincoln was a regular visitor to Eckert’s office, and the two men quickly became close friends and confidants. The bond between the two was so great that Eckert was to attend Our American Cousin as Lincoln's bodyguard, but was not allowed to do so by Stanton. Instead, he found himself among the grieving few that stood by the dying president at the Peterson House later that tragic evening.