I don’t have any real insight about this document—just interesting to know that Robert Todd Lincoln was more than the scholarly son of an infinitely more memorable father. He (Robert) also served as Ambassador to the UK during Benjamin Harrison’s presidency (1889-1893).
President Garfield was shot at a train depot in Washington not four months after signing this nomination, and Robert Todd Lincoln witnessed it. He stayed on as Chester Arthur’s Secretary of War. (Lincoln was also in D.C. when his father was murdered and was present at 1901’s Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, where President McKinley was assassinated.) The Garfield shooting occurred literally right across the street from where the National Archives is today, as the National Gallery of Art occupies the ground where that train depot once stood. I’m amazed the D.C. Historical Society hasn’t erected a plaque.
Here’s a picture of the nomination’s “cover” (one side of the folded document):
I tried to find Robert Todd Lincoln’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery, but visitors weren’t allowed to enter that particular section. (This was on July 4, and I did my celebrating at the Lincoln Memorial!) Speaking of the Lincoln Memorial, here’s a fascinating picture taken at its dedication on May 30, 1922 (from left to right—Chief Justice Taft, President Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln):
Lincoln attended the dedication in spite of his earlier observation that “there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.” Harding indeed died in office, just over 14 month later.