Lincoln Rockers

By mwilcox


This rocker dates from the third quarter of the 19th Century, generically called a "Lincoln Rocker" after the fact President Lincoln was shot while sitting on one very much like it watching a play at Ford's Theater in 1865. The original Lincoln rocker's importance became obvious immediately after Lincoln's death, it was held by The War Department held it as evidence during the trial of the assassination conspirators and later left it with the Smithsonian Institution. Originally it was the personal property of Harry Ford, who owned Ford's theater where Lincoln was shot, his widow eventually petitioned the government for its return. In 1929 she had it auctioned in New York, where Henry Ford, the legendary auto magnate and collector, purchased it for $2,400.

Today you may see this historic rocker at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, now fully restored it and installed it in a climate controlled exhibit case. The photo above shows how it looked before the restoration took place. Demand for Victorian like this peaked in the early 1990's and has been in decline since then, currently rockers like this often go for less than $150.00 at auction.