Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) [Presidential pardon of Rasmus Benson who in Maryland in September 1862 was convicted of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on a seaman].

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00043.21 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Document signed Date: 16 December 1862 Pagination: 2 p. + docket 42 x 27 cm

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00043.21 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Document signed Date: 16 December 1862 Pagination: 2 p. + docket 42 x 27 cm

Pardoned by Abraham Lincoln because Benson had been imprisoned for failure to pay the fine, because Benson's offense against the Criminalizing Mutiny on the High Seas Act (March 3, 1835, c. 40, sec. 1 and 2) was of a technical nature, and because the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case had petitioned on his behalf. Countersigned by William H. Seward.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources