THIS CIVIL WAR SOLDIER’S 1865 PASSPORT WAS ISSUED THE MONTH AFTER LINCOLN’S ASSASSINATION, WITH LATER, 1868 PARIS PASSPORT STAMP & SIGNATURE. Civil War Soldier Passport
Large, engraved certificate, measuring c.16.75 x 11.25 inches (folded, with conjugate leaf blank on both sides). With William Hunter, Jr.’s stamp [because Seward was injured during Lincoln’s assassination]. This is Passport No. 20243, for a Mr. John Leeds, who is described as a 60-year-old, blue-eyed, brown-haired, and light-complected.
John Leeds (1817-1900) was a farmer from Absecon, New Jersey. With his wife Clarissa, they had seven children. He was drafted into the Army in 1863, around the age of 44, and survived to return home, and then travel to Paris after the war. The passport is stamped by acting Secretary of State, William Hunter, Jr., who was serving due to Seward’s injuries from an attack concurrent with Lincoln’s assassination. Civil War Soldier Passport
William Hunter, Jr. (1805–1886) was a politician and diplomat from Rhode Island. He served as acting Secretary of State in 1853, again in 1860, and in 1865 to substitute for Secretary William H. Seward who was injured in an attack connected to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He also served as Chief Clerk of the State Department from 1852 to 1855, Assistant Secretary of State in 1855, and Second Assistant Secretary of State from 1866 until his death in 1886.
The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865, also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States fought between states supporting the federal union (“the Union” or “the North”) and southern states that voted to secede and form the Confederate States of America (“the Confederacy” or “the South”). The central cause of the war was the status of slavery, especially the expansion of slavery into newly acquired land after the Mexican–American War. On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, four million of the 32 million Americans (nearly 13%) were black slaves, mostly in the South.