Arizona Department of Education
Standards and Assessment Division
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial
To support the celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial in Arizona schools, the
Arizona Department of Education offers the following information.
Abraham Lincoln has a connection to Arizona in that he was the president who
signed the Organic Act creating the Arizona Territory in 1863. As president, he
also appointed the first Arizona Territorial governor and other territorial officials.
An inkstand, made by the Tiffany Company out of 400 ounces of pure silver from
the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, was presented to President Lincoln in
March 1865 by Charles Poston. It was presented in gratitude for Lincoln’s
friendship to the cause of making Arizona a separate territory from New Mexico.
According to historian Jay Wagoner, Charles Poston designed the inkstand,
wanting to dramatize Lincoln’s signing of the Organic Act. In the center of the
stand was a miniature capitol dome that covered the inkwell itself. On one end
was an Indian woman and on the other a frontiersman with his rifle. Abraham
Lincoln’s name was inscribed on one side of the base and the other side read
“From Charles D. Poston, Arizona – 1865.” The inkstand was donated to the
Library of Congress by Robert Todd Lincoln’s daughter, Mrs. Charles Isham, in
Charles Poston, known as the “father of Arizona” for his contributions to its
establishment as a separate territory, greatly admired Lincoln. Lincoln and
Poston were born in the same section of Kentucky and Poston had a Kentucky
connection to Lincoln through his father-in-law, Samuel Haycraft, who knew
Lincoln’s father in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
A photograph of the inkstand will be available on the Library of Congress
Website on February 12 as part of a special tribute to Abraham Lincoln. Be
sure to check this site on that date to share this special piece of Arizona history