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Slavery document auctioned for $688,000



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NEW YORK, Nov 15 (AFP) - A rare copy of the historic 1863 US Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves, signed by then-president Abraham Lincoln, was sold for 688,000 dollars at auction in New York on Tuesday.

"All persons held as Slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforth, and FOREVER FREE," read the text of the proclamation.

The document, sold by auction house Christie's, was part of a collection belonging to the late publishing mogul Malcolm Forbes.

According to Christie's, it was one of only 15 surviving copies of an 1864 printing made of the proclamation and autographed by Lincoln. In the last 40 years, only four have been offered for auction.

Another highlight of the sale was a two-page typed campaign speech carried by former president Theodore Roosevelt when he was shot by a would-be assassin in October 1912.

The bullet passed through the folded pages of the speech leaving a hole at the top and lower portions of the document.

The speech sold for 42,000 dollars, well above its 9,000-dollar high estimate.

There was also strong bidding for a military map showing the flight path of the "Enola Gay" bomber which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945.

The map, which finally went under the hammer for 72,000 dollars, was signed by the bomber's co-pilot Robert Lewis, who carried it on the mission.

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COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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