Behind the Scenes
Letters from Mrs. Lincoln to Mrs. Keckley.
, Sunday Morning, Oct. 6.
"My dear Lizzie
:--I am writing this morning with a broken heart after a
sleepless night of great mental suffering. R. came up last evening like a maniac, and almost
threatening his life, looking like death, because the letters of the
were published in
yesterday's paper. I could not refrain from weeping when I saw him so miserable. But yet, my
dear good Lizzie, was it not to protect myself and help others--and was not my motive and
action of the purest kind?
333Pray for me that this cup of affliction may pass from me, or be sanctified to me. I weep whilst I
am writing. ... I pray for death this morning. Only my darling Taddie prevents my taking my
life. I shall have to endure a round of newspaper abuse from the Republicans because I dared
venture to relieve a few of my wants. Tell Mr. Brady and Keyes not to have a line of mine once
more in print I am nearly losing my reason.
, Oct. 8.
"My dear Lizzie
:--Bowed down with suffering and anguish, again I write
you. As we might have expected, the Republicans are falsifying me, and doing
did when they prevented the Congressional appropriation. Mrs.--knows something about
these same people. As her husband
they dare not utter all
334they would desire to speak. You know yourself how innocently I have acted, and from the best
and purest motives. They will
to prevent my disposing of my things. What a
set they are! The
here, Mr. White's paper, wrote a very beautiful
editorial yesterday in my behalf; yet knowing that I have been deprived of my rights by the party, I
suppose I would be
if I ventured out. What a world of anguish this is--and
how I have been made to suffer! ... You would not recognize me now. The glass shows me
a pale, wretched, haggard face, and my dresses are like bags on me. And all because I was doing
what I felt to be my duty. Our minister, Mr. Swazey, called on me yesterday and said I had done
perfectly right. Mrs. F--says every one speaks in the same way. The politicians, knowing
they have deprived me of my just rights, would prefer to see me starve, rather than dispose of my
things. They will prevent the
335sale of anything, so I have telegraphed for them. I hope you have received from B. the letters I
have consigned to his care. See to this. Show none of them. Write me every day.
, Wednesday, October 9th.
"My dear Lizzie
:--It appears as if the fiends had let loose, for the
Republican papers are tearing me to pieces in this border ruffian West. If I had committed murder
in every city in this
, I could not be more traduced. And you know how
innocent I have been of the intention of doing wrong. A piece in the morning
signed `B,' pretending to be a lady, says there is no doubt Mrs. L.--
deranged--has been for years past, and will end her life in a lunatic asylum. They would
doubtless like me to begin it
Mr. S., a very kind, sympathizing minister, has been
with me this morning, and has now gone to see Mr. Medill,
, to know if
sanctioned his paper publishing such as article.
... Pray for me, dear Lizzie, for I am very miserable and broken-hearted. Since writing this, I
have just received a letter from Mr. Keyes, begging and pleading with me to allow them to use my
name for donations. I think I will consent. ...
, Sunday, Oct. 13.
"My dear Lizzie
:--I am greatly disappointed, having only received one letter
from you since we parted, which was dated the day after. Day after day I sent to Mrs. F. for
letters. After your promise of writing to me every other day, I can scarcely understand it. I hope
to-morrow will bring me a letter from you. How much I miss you cannot be expressed. I hope you
have arrived safely in Washington, and will tell me everything. ... Was there ever such
337cruel newspaper abuse lavished upon an unoffending woman as has been showered upon my
devoted head? The people of this ungrateful country are like the `dogs in the manager;' will
neither do anything themselves, nor allow me to improve my own condition. What a Government
we have! All their abuse lavished upon me only lowers themselves in the estimation of all
true-hearted people. The Springfield
had an editorial a few days since, with the
important information that Mrs. Lincoln had been known to be
for years, and
for all her
I should have been
if I had
to take possession of the White House. In the comfortable stealings by
contracts from the Governments, these low creatures are allowed to hurl their malicious wrath at
me, with no one to defend me or protect me, if I should starve. These people injure themselves far
more than they could do me, by their lies and villany. Their aim is to prevent my goods being sold,
338anything being done for me.
, I very much fear, they have succeeded.
"Write me, my dear friend, your candid opinion about everything. I wished to be made better
off, quite as much to improve your condition as well as for myself. ... Two weeks ago, dear
Lizzie, we were in that
of discomfort and dirt.
we are far asunder. Every
other day, for the past week, I have had a chill, brought on by excitement and suffering of mind.
In the midst of it I have moved into my winter quarters, and am now very comfortably situated.
My parlor and bedroom are very sweetly furnished. I am lodged in a handsome house, a very
family, and their meals are excellent. I consider myself fortunate in all
this. I feel assured that the Republicans, who, to cover up their own perfidy and neglect, have
used every villainous falsehood in their power to injure me--I fear they have
than succeeded, but if their day of reckoning does not come in this world, it
the next. ...
--I have determined to shed no more tears over all their cruel
falsehoods, yet, just now, I feel almost forsaken by God and man--except by the
to be vilified. Write me all that Keyes and Brady think of the result. For myself, after
nothing. Oh! that I could see you. Write me, dear Lizzie, if
only a line; I cannot understand your silence. Here after direct your letters to Mrs. A. Lincoln, 460
West Washington street, Chicago, III., care of D. Cole. Remember 460. I am always so anxious
to hear from you, I am feeling so
in the world. I remain always your affectionate
Postscript to Letter of Oct.
"I cannot send this letter off without writing you two little incidents that have occurred within
the past week. We may call it
, to say the least.
There is a paper published in Chicago called the
340owned and published by Springfield men. Each morning since my return it has been thrown at my
door, filled with abuse of myself. Four days ago a piece appeared in it, asking 'What right had
Mrs. L. to diamonds and laces?' Yesterday morning an article appeared in the same paper,
announcing that the day previous, at the house of Mr. Bunn (the owner of the paper), in
Springfield, Illinois--the house had been entered at 11 in the morning, by burglars, and had
been robbed of
diamond rings, and a quantity of fine laces. This morning's paper
announces the recovery of these articles. Mr. Bunn, who made his hundreds of thousands off our
government, is running this paper, and denouncing the wife of the man from whom he obtained
his means. I enclose you the article about the recovery of the goods. A few years ago he had a
in S--. These facts can be authenticated. Another case in point: The
evening I left my house to come here, the young daughter of one of my neighbors
341in the same block, was in a house not a square off, and in a childish manner was regretting that I
could not retain my house. The man in the house said: `Why waste your tears and regrets on Mrs.
Lincoln?' An hour afterward the husband and wife went out to make a call, doubtless to gossip
about me; on their return they found their young boy had almost blinded himself with gunpowder.
Who will say that the cry of the 'window and fatherless' is disregarded in
sight! If man
is not merciful, God will be in his own time.
, October 29.
"My dear Lizzie
:-- I received a very pleasant note from Mr. F. Dougalss on
yesterday. I will reply to it this morning, and enclose it to you to hand or send him immediately. In
there was a little article
designed to make capital
me just now--that
342brothers were in the Southern army during the war. If they had been friendly with me they might
have said they were
brothers of Mrs. L., whom she had not known since they were
infants; and as she left Kentucky at an early age her sympathies were entirely
Republican--that her feelings were entirely with the North during the war, and always. I
never failed to urge my husband to be an
Republican, and now, in the day of my
trouble, you see how
very party is trying to work against me. Tell Mr. Douglass, and
every one, how deeply my feelings were enlisted in the cause of freedom. Why
brothers, whom I never knew since they were infants, and scarcely then, for my
early home was truly at a
school. Write to him all this, and talk it to every one
else. If we succeed I will soon send you enough for a very large supply of trimming material for
, Nov. 2d.
"My dear Lizzie
:--Your letters of last Wednesday is received, and I cannot
refrain from expressing my surprise that before now K. and B. did not go out in
names, and have sent forth all those circulars. Their conduct is becoming mysterious. We have
heard enough of
--it is time now they should be
I fear, has ruined the business. The Circulars should all have been out before the
cannot understand their slowness. As Mr. Greeley's home is in New York, he could certainly have
been found had he
and there are plenty of other good men in New York, as
well as himself. I venture to say, that
the election not a circular will be sent out. I
begin to think they are making a political business of
, and not for
benefit either. Their delays in acting is becoming very suspicious. Their slow, bad management is
every prospect of success. I fear you are only losing
344your time in New York, and that I shall be left
for what I am owing the firm. I have
written to K. and B., and they do nothing that I request. I want neither Mr. Douglass nor Garnet
to lecture in my behalf. The conduct in New York is disgusting me with the whole business. I
cannot understand what they have been about. Their delay has only given the enemies time to
strength; what does it all mean? Of course give the lady at 609 permission to sell
the dresses cheaper. ... I am feeling wretchedly over the slowness and
style of B. & K. I believe in my heart I am being used as a tool for party purposes; and they do
not design sending out a circular. ...
"Chicago, Nov. 9, 1867.
"My dear Lizzie
-- ... Did you receive a letter a few days since, with
one enclosed for F. Douglass? also a printed letter of mine, which I
345wished him to read? Do write me every other day at least, I am so
nervous and miserable.
And Lizzie, dear, I fear we have not the
chance of success.
remain in New
York a little longer, and occupy yourself with the sewing of your friends.
I shall be
able to learn
thing about my business. In
you know there will be
do you not candidly express yourself to me? Write me, if only a few
lines, and that very frequently. R. called up on yesterday, with Judge Davis. ... R. goes with
Judge D. on Tuesday, to settle the estate, which will give us each about $25,000, with the income
I told you of, $1,700 a year for each of us. You made a mistake about my house costing
$2,700--it was $1,700. The $22,000 Congress gave me I spent for house and furniture,
which, owing to the smallness of my income, I was obliged to leave. I mention about the division
of the estate to you, dear Lizzie, because when it is done the
will harp upon
346it. You can explain everything in New York; please do so to every one. Please see H. G., if it
should come out in the papers. I had hoped, if something was gained, to have immediately placed
in more pleasant circumstances. Do urge F. D. to add his name to the circular; also
get them to have Beecher's. There must not be an hour's delay in this. R. is very spiteful at
present, and I think hurries up the division to
my purposes. He mentioned yesterday
that he was going to the Rocky Mountains so soon as Edger Welles joined him. He is very
... Write me,
, when you receive this. Your silence pains me.
"My dear Lizzie
:-- I closed and sent off my letter before I had finished all I
had to say. Do not hint to K. or B., or any one else, my doubts of
only watch them
As to S., so many false-hoods are told in the papers that all the
stuff about his wife and himself may be untrue. I hope it may prove so. I received a letter from
Keyes this morning. I believe I wrote you that I had. How hard it is that I cannot see and talk with
you in this time of great,
trouble. I feel as if I had not a friend in the world save
yourself. ... I sometimes wish myself out of this world of sorrow and care. I fear my fine
articles at B.'s are getting pulled to pieces and soiled. I do not wish you to leave N. Y. without
having the finest articles packed up and returned to me. The
white camel's hair
shawl and the two Paisleys I wish returned to me, if none of them are sold. Do you think there is
the least chance of
being sold? I will give you a list of the articles I wish returned to
me from Mr. Brady's before
New York for Washington.
"1 Camel's hair shawl, double black centre.
"1 Camel's hair shawl, double white centre.
1 Single white camel's hair shawl.
2 Paisley shawls-- white.
1 Pair bracelets and diamond ring.
1 Fine lace handkerchief.
3 Black lace shawls.
2 Black lama shawls.
1 Dress, silk unmade, white and black.
1 White boa.
1 Russian sable boa.
1 Russian sable cape.
1 A. sable cape, cuffs and muff.
1 Chinchilla set.
"The lace dress, flounce, and shawl, if there is no possibility of their being sold. Also all other
fine articles return me, save the dresses which, with prices lowered,
may be sold
, Nov. 15, '67.
"My dear Keckley
:--Your last letter has been
349received, and believe me, I duly appreciate your great interest in my affairs. I hope the day
arrive when I can return your kindness in
than words. As you are aware
of my beloved husband's great indulgence to me in pecuniary matters, thereby allowing me to
indulge in bestowing favors on those whom I considered worthy of it, it is in this respect I feel
chiefly the humiliation of my small circumscribed income. If Congress, or the Nation, had given
me the four years' salary, I should have been able to live as the widow of the great President
Lincoln should, with sufficient means to give liberally to all benevolent objects, and at my death
should have left at least half of it to the freedmen, for the liberty of whom his precious sacred life
was sacrificed. The men who prevented
being done by their villainous unscrupulous
falsehoods, are no friends of the colored race, and, as you well know, have led Johnson on in his
"'God is just,'
and the day of retribution will
350come to all such, if not in this world, in the great hereafter, to which those hoary-headed sinners
are so rapidly hastening, with an innocent conscience. I did note feel it necessary to raise my weak
woman's voice against the persecutions that have assailed me emanating from the tongues of such
men as Weed & Co. I have felt that their infamous false lives was a sufficient vindication of my
character. They have never forgiven me for standing between my pure and noble husband and
themselves, when, for their own vile purposes, they would have led him into error.
the country knows, and why should I dwell longer on it? In the blissful home where my
worshipped husband dwells God is ever merciful, and it is the consolation of my broken heart that
my darling husband is ever retaining the devoted love which he always so abundantly manifested
for his wife and children in this life. I feel assured his watchful, loving eyes are always watching
over us, and he is fully aware of the wrong
351and injustice permitted his family by a country he lost his life in protecting. I write earnestly,
because I feel very deeply. It appears to me a very remarkable coincidence, that most of the good
feeling regarding my straitened circumstances proceeds from the colored people, in whose cause
my noble husband was so largely interested. Whether we are successful or not, Mr. F. Douglass
and Mr. Garnet will always have my most grateful thanks. They are very noble men. If any
results should crown their efforts, you may well believe at my death, whatever
sum it may be, will be bequeathed to the colored people, who are very near my heart. In
yesterday's paper it was announced that Gov. Andrew's family were having $100,000 contributed
to them. Gov. A. was a good man, but what did
do compared to President Lincoln?
Right and left and the latter gave, when he had but little to bestow, and in consequence his family
are now feeling it; yet for my life I would not recall
352a dollar he ever gave. Yet his favorite expression, when I have playfully alluded to the 'rainy day'
that might be in store for
himself and his own
on several occasions, he has looked at me so
earnestly and replied, 'Cast your bread upon the waters.' Although the petty sum of $22,000 was
an insufficient return for Congress to make me, and allowanced to its meagreness by men who
traduced and vilified the loved wife of the great man who
, and from whom
they amassed great fortunes --for
Weed, and Seward, and R.
did this last. And yet,
was permitted by an American people, who owed
remaining a nation
to my husband! I have dwelt too long on this painful subject, but when I have been compelled
from a pitiful income to make a boarding-house of my home, as I now am doing, think you that it
does not rankle in my heart?
"Fortunately, with my husband's great, great love for me--the knowledge of this future
353petted and idolized wife was spared him, and yet I feel in my heart
knows it all. Mr.
Summer, the intimate friend of better days, called to see me two or three weeks since -- he
who had been an habitue of the White House-- both the rooms of the President and my
own reception-room, in either place he was always sure of a heartfelt welcome; my present
situation must have struck a painful chord in his noble, sympathizing heart. And yet, when I
endeavored to ameliorate my condition, the cry has been so fearful against me as to cause me to
forget my own identity, and suppose I had plundered the nation, indeed, and committed murder.
This, certainly, cannot be America, 'the land of the
the 'home of the
The evening before Mr. Summer's last call I had received Mr. Douglass's letter; I mentioned the
circumstance to Mr. Summer, who replied: 'Mr. Frederick Douglass is a very noble, talented man,
and I know of no one who writes a more beautiful letter.' I am sending you a long letter,
354Lizzie, but I rely a great deal on your indulgence. My fear is that you will not be able to decipher
the scrawl written
"I remain, truly yours,
"My dear Lizzie
:-- By the time you receive this note, you will doubtless find
over the large income which we are each
to have. Knowing
exactly the amount we each will have, which I have already informed you, I was going to say, I
have been shocked at the
sum set down to each, but I have learned not to be
surprised at anything. Of course it is gotten up to defeat success.
the necessity for those circulars being issued weeks since. I enclose you a scrap from yesterday's,
of C., marked No. 1; also No. 2, to-day's
The sum of $11,000 has
been subtracted in twenty-four hours from the same
355paper. If it continues for a few days longer, it will soon be right. It is a secesh paper--says
Congress gave me $25,000 as a
, besides $20,000 of remaining salary. The $25,000
know to be utterly false. You can show this note to B. & K., also the scraps sent. Let
no one see them but themselves, and then burn them. It is all just as I expected--that when
the division took place, a 'mountain would be made of a mole-hill.' And I fear it will succeed in
injuring the premeditated plans. If the
say that the sum assigned each was false; that $75,000 was the sum the administrator, Judge
Davis, filed his bonds for. But by all means
must not be given. And then the
can descant on the $25,000 each, with income of $1,700 each, and Mrs.
Lincoln's share, she not being able to touch any of their sons' portion. My
must not appear in the article; only the paper must speak
It must be managed very judiciously, and without a day's delay.
"Nov 17--(Private for yourself).
:-- Show the note enclosed with this to B.& K.; do not let them
retain it an instant after reading, nor the printed articles. I knew these falsehoods would be
circulated when the estate was divided. What
been the cause of the delay about the
circulars? I fear, between ourselves, we have reason to distrust those men,--. Whatever is
raised by the colored people, I solemnly give my word, at my death it shall
, every cent,
be returned to them. And out of the sum, if it is $50,00,000,
shall have $5,000 at my
death; and I cannot live long, suffering as I am now doing. If $25,000 is raised by your people,
you shall have the sum at my death; and in either event, the
357$25,000 raised, or $50,000, I will give you $300 a year, and the promised sum at my death. It will
make your life easier. I have more faith in F.D.'s and G.s' and efforts, than in B. &. K., I assure
you. This division has been trumped up just now through spite. ... I have written to Judge
Davis for an exact statement, which I will sent to you when received. Write if any thing is doing.
, November 21.
"My dear Lizzie
:-- Your letter of Tuesday is just received. I have just
written B. a note of thanks for his kindness; also requesting the articles of which I gave you a list.
Do see Keyes about it; K. will have it done. And will you
that they are forwarded to
leave New York? K. sent me a telegram on yesterday that eight
names were on the circulars, and that
358they would be sent out
What success do you think they will have? By all
means assure K. & B. I have great confidence in them. These circulars must bring some money.
Your letter made me quite said. Talk to B. & K. of the
I express towards
them. Do pet up B., and see my things returned to me. Can you not, dear Lizzie, be employed in
sewing for some of your lady friends in New York until December 1st? If I
money you will be well remembered, be assured. R. and a party of young men leave for the Rocky
Mountains next Monday, to be absent three weeks. If the circulars are sent out, of course the
will be blown over again. So R. is out of the way
at the time
, and money
comes in I will not care. Write the hour you receive this. I hope they will send out 150,000
circulars. Urge K. &. B to do this.
"Saturday Morning, November 23rd.
"My dear Lizzie
:--Although I am suffering with a fearful headache to-day,
yet, as your note of Wednesday is received, I must write. I am grieved to find that you are so
wretchedly low-spirited. ... On Wednesday, the 20th of November, K. sent me the telegram
I send you. If he is not in earnest, what does it mean? What is the rate of expenses that B. has
gone to in my business, that he dares to withhold my immense amount of goods? Do you believe
sending out those circulars? Of course you will be well rewarded if we have
any success, but as to $500 'now,' I have it not for myself, or any one else. Pray, what does B.
propose to charge for
I pray God there will be some success, although, dear
Lizzie, entirely between ourselves, I fear I am in villanous hands. As to money, I haven't it for
myself just now, even if nothing comes in. When I get my things back, if ever, from--, I
will send you some of those
360dresses to dispose of at Washington for your own benefit. If we get something,
and performances for
life will be forthcoming. ... It is
why B. NEVER writes, and K.
, perhaps, in three weeks. All this is
very strange. ...
, Sunday, Nov. 24th.
"My dear Lizzie
:-- I wrote you on yesterday and am aware it was not a
pleasant letter, although I wrote what I fear will turn out to be
It will be two weeks
to-morrow since the legally attested consent from me was received by B. and K., and yet
have not been obtained for it, when last heard from. ... However, we will
soon see for ourselves. If you and I are honest in our motives and intentions, it is no reason
the world is so. ... If I should gain nothing pecuniarily by the loud cry that has
been made over my affairs, it has
361been a losing game indeed. ... And the laugh of the world will be against me if it turns out as
think; there is no doubt it will be
failure. If they had issued those circulars
when they should have done, before the election, then it would have been all right. Alas! alas!
what a mistake it has all been! I have thought seriously over the whole business, and know what I
am about. I am grateful for the sympathy of Mr. F. Douglass and Mr. Garnet. I see that F. D. is
advertised to lecture in Chicago some time this winter. Tell him, for me, he must call and see me;
give him my number. If I had been able to retain a house, I should have offered him apartments
when he came to C.; as it is, I have to content
with lodgings. An ungrateful country
this! I very much fear the malignity of Seward, Weed, and R. will operate in Congress the coming
winter, and that I will be denounced
, with their infamous and villainous falsehoods.
362father of wickedness and lies will get those men when they 'pass away;' and such fiends as they
are, always linger in this mortal sphere. The agitation of mind has very much impaired my health.
... Why, why was not
taken when my darling husband was called from my side? I
have been allowed no rest by those who, in my desolation, should have protected me. ...
How dearly I should love to see you
this very sad day
. Never, dear Lizzie, think of my
great nervousness the night before we parted; I had been so harassed with my fears. ...
"My dear Lizzie
:--Your letters just received. I have just written to K. to
withdraw the C. Go to him yourself the moment you receive this. The idea of Congress doing
363ridiculous. How much -- could effect
if he chose
, through others. Go to B. & K.
the moment your receive this.
"Yours, M. L."
, December 27.
:-- I wrote you a few lines on yesterday. I have twice written to
Mr. K. to have the C. stopped. Go and See him on the subject. I believe any more newspaper
lay me low
has passed away from me with my
husband, my slightest act is misinterpreted.
Time makes all things
right. I am positively
suffering for a decent dress. I see Mr. A. and
visitors eyeing my clothing
askance. ... Do send my black merino dress to me very soon; I must dress better in the
future. I tremble at the bill that B. & K. may send me, I am so illy prepared to meet any expense.
All my articles not sold must be sent to me. I leave
in the spring; had you better not go with me and share my fortunes, for a year or
"Yours, etc., M. L."
, January 12.
"My dear Lizzie
:--Your last letter was received a day or two since. I have
moved my quarters to
, so please direct all your letters
you not urge them not to take my goods to Providence? For heaven's sake see K.& B. when you
receive this, and have them immediately returned to me,
with their bill
. I am so miserable I
feel like taking my own life. My darling boy, my Taddie
prevents the deed. Your letter announcing that my clothes
(*) The clothes
that I have given for the benefit of Wilberforce College. They have been deeded to Bishop Payne,
who will do with them as he thinks best, for the cause to which they are dedicated. The letter on
page 366 will explain more fully.
were to be paraded in Europe--those
365I gave you--has almost turned me wild. R. would go
if such a
thing was done. If you have the
, pray write to the
bishop that it
not be done. How little did I suppose you would do
you cannot imagine how much my over-whelming sorrows would be increased. May
kind Heaven turn your heart, and have you write that
exhibition must not be
attempted. R. would blast us all if you were to have this project carried out. Do remember
in our unmitigated anguish, and have those clothes, worn on those fearful occasions,
recalled. ... I am positively dying with a broken heart, and the probability is that I shall be
living but a
short time. May we all meet in a better world, where
unknown. Write me all about yourself. I should like you to have about four black widow's caps,
just such as I had made in the fall in New York, sent to me. ...
Of course you would not suppose, if I had you
366come out here and work for me six weeks, I would not pay your expenses and pay you as you
dress. The probability is that I shall need
more clothes; my rest, I
am inclined to believe, is
near at hand
. Go to B. & K., and have my clothes sent me
without further publicity. ... I am feeling too weak to write more to-day. Why are you so
silent? For the sake of
, if not
and my children,
those black clothes displayed in Europe. The thought has almost whitened every hair of my head.
Write when you receive this.
"Your friend, M.L."
"New York City,
Jan. 1st, 1868.
"BISHOP PAYNE, D. D. -- Dear Sir:
--Allow me to donate certain
valuable relies, to be exhibited for the benefit of Wilberforce University, where my son was
educated, and whose life was sacrificed for liberty. These sacred relics were presented
367to me by Mrs. Lincoln, after the assassination of our beloved President. Learning that you were
struggling to get means to complete the college that was burned on the day our great emancipator
was assassinated, prompted me to donate, in trust to J. P. Ball (agent for Wilberforce College),
the identical cloak and bonnet worn by Mrs. Lincoln on that eventful night. On the cloak can be
seen the life-blood of Abraham Lincoln. This cloak could not be purchased from me, though many
have been the officers for it. I deemed it too
to sell, but donate it for the cause of
educating the four millions of slaves liberated by our President, whose private character I revere.
You well know that I had every chance to learn the true man, being constantly in the White House
during his whole administration. I also donate the glove
(*) I have since
concluded to retain the glove as a precious
souvenir of our beloved President.
on his precious hand at the last inaugural reception. This glove
368bears the marks of thousands who shook his hand on that last and great occassion. This, and many
other relies, I hope you will receive in the name of the Lincoln fund. I also donate the dress worn
by Mrs. Lincoln at the last inaugural address of President Lincoln. Please receive these
Your sister in Christ.
Jan. 15, 1868.
"MY DEAR LIZZIE:-- You will think I am sending you a deluge of letters. I am so
very sad today, that I feel that I must write you. I went out last evening with Tad, on a little
business, in a street car, heavily veiled, very imprudently having
my month's living
pocket-book -- and, on return, found it gone. The loss I deserve for being so careless, but
it comes very hard on poor me. Troubles and misfortunes are fast overwhelming me; may
soon come. I lost $82, and quite a new pocket-book. I am
369very, very anxious about that bill B. & K. may bring in. Do go, dear Lizzie, and implore them to
be moderate, for I am in a very narrow place. Tell them, I pray you, of this last loss. As they have
not been successful (BETWEEN OURSELVES), and only given me great sorrow and trouble, I
think their demand should be very small. (Do not mention this to them).
, dear Lizzie,
go to 609, and talk to them on this subject. Let my things be sent to me immediately, and
see to it, that nothing is left behind. I can afford to lose nothing they have had placed in
their hands. I am literally suffering for my black dress. Will you send it to me when you receive
this? I am looking very shabby. I hope you have entirely recovered.
"Very truly yours, M. L."
"MR. BRADY: -- I hereby authorize Mrs. Keckley to request my bill from you; also
An exact account must be given of everything, and all goods unsold returned to me. Prays
hand Mrs. Keckley my bill, without fail, immediately.
"DEAR LIZZIE:-- I am only able to sit up long enough to write you a line and enclose
this check to Mr. K. Give it to him when he gives you up my goods, and require from him an
exact inventory of them. I will write you to-morrow. The hour you receive this go to him, get my
goods, and do not
give him the check until
you get the goods, and be sure you get a
receipt for the check from him. ... In his account given ten days since, he said we had
borrowed $807; now he writes for $820. Ask him what this means, and get him to deduct the $13.
I cannot understand it. A letter received from K. this morning says if the check is not received the
first of the
371week, my goods
will be sold;
so do delay not an hour to see him. ... My diamond
ring he writes has been sold; the goods sold have amounted to $824, and they appropriate all this
for their expenses. A precious set, truly. My diamond ring itself cost more than that sum, and I
charged them not to sell it under $700. Do get my things safely returned to me. ...