Lock and Key from Johnson's Island Prison, Owned by General O.O. Howard

Steel and brass padlock, 5 x 3.5 in., and key from Johnson's Island Prison in Ohio. Key with unusual S-shaped bit. Accompanied by label on verso of Brigadier General O.O. Howard: "Lock & Key to Johnson's Island Prison, Co. Lee was there when last officers left." Consignor notes that Lee, no relation to the Confederate General, presented the lock and key to Howard as a gift. 

Olver Otis Howard (1830-1909) was born in Maine and graduated from West Point in 1854. A career US Army officer, Howard lost his right arm while leading his men against Confederate forces at the Battle of Fair Oaks/Seven Pines in June 1862, an action which later earned him the Medal of Honor. After the war, President Andrew Johnson appointed him head of the Freedman's Bureau, where he tenaciously supported the rights of African Americans, urging that land be distributed equally to newly freed slaves and advocating for their right to vote. He helped found the historically black Howard University, which is named in his honor. Howard continued to serve in education until his death in 1909. 


Red paint accession numbers on both lock and key.

Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

 Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  
Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 
For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com