155-Year-Old Lock Of Abraham Lincoln’s Hair Just Sold For $81,000

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 15 Sep 2020 17:26
RR Auction

A lock of former US president Abraham Lincoln’s hair has been sold for $81,000. Personally I’d only pay that kind of money for a piece of Jason Momoa’s hair, but each to their own. 

The two-inch chunk of hair was sold at an auction in Boston that ended on Saturday, September 12, alongside a telegram smeared with Lincoln’s blood.


Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 after being shot in the head by well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth. The lock of hair recently purchased was taken during the late president’s postmortem.

The successful bidder of the exclusive items, who wishes to stay anonymous, purchased them for $6,250 more than the auction house had expected them to go for.

RR Auction

The hair was initially given to Dr. Lyman Beecher Todd, a cousin of first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, according to auction house RR Auction. Having nothing to wrap the lock of hair with, Todd reached into his pocket and used the War Department telegram he was sent soon after the president was shot.


James A. Todd, son of Dr. Todd, outlined the details of the hair and the telegram in a letter dated February 12, 1945.

As per CNN, the note read:

He wrapped the lock, stained with blood or brain fluid, in this telegram and hastily wrote on it in pencil: ‘Hair of A. Lincoln’. The lock of Abraham Lincoln’s hair … was cut from his head and given to my father during the performance of the postmortem and has remained entirely in the custody of our family since that time.

Todd was more than just the cousin of Lincoln’s wife; the pair got to know one another when the Lincolns visited Lexington, Kentucky, before the Civil War. Todd was later appointed the postmaster in Lexington in 1861 after Lincoln became president.


During the president’s final hours, Todd stayed by his bedside in Petersen House across the street from Ford’s Theatre where he was shot.

Speaking about the hair’s provenance, RR Auction Executive Vice President Bobby Livingston said, ‘When you are dealing with samples of Lincoln’s hair, provenance is everything — and in this case, we know that this came from a family member who was at the President’s bedside.’

Aside from the obvious, the telegram is also particularly significant because it disproved a theory that then-Secretary of War Edwin Stanton plotted to kill Lincoln because of their personal and political differences, ABC News reports.


RR Auction will be putting up more Lincoln memorabilia for auction through October 7.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Auction, hair, US News


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    Abraham Lincoln's lock of hair sells for more than $81,000 at auction

  2. ABC News

    Lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair sells for more than $81,000