Mary Lincoln’s Half-Sister Complains to President Lincoln

October 30, 1864

Lincoln sister-in-law Emily Todd Helm, widowed in September 1863, bitterly writes President Lincoln: “Upon arriving at Lexington, after my long tedious unproductive and sorrowful visit to you, I found my Mother streched upon a sick bed, made sick by the harrowing and shocking death of your Brother in law, and my half Brother Levi Todd — He died from utter want and destitution as a letter sent to Sister Mary by Kitty gives particulars, another sad victim to the powers of more favored relations– With such a sad, such a dreadful lesson, I again beg and plead attention & consideration to my petition to be permitted to ship my cotton & be allowed a pass to go South to attend to it– My necessities are such that I am compelled to urge it– The last money I have in the world I used to make the unfruitful Appeal to you. You cannot urge that you do not know them for I have told you of them. I have been a quiet citizen and request only the right which humanity and Justice always give to Widows and Orphans. I also would remind you that your Minnie bullets have made us what we are & I feel I have that additional claim upon you–

Did you receive a letter from the Arch Bishop Purcell dated 18th Oct.4 He desired for Kitty an Answer as he would use his influence for you on the 8th of Oct. Will you reply to this– If you think I give way to excess of feeling, I beg you will make some excuse for a woman almost crazed with misfortune–

Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson writes President Lincoln about two New York congressional elections: “I have just returned from New York. Can not you do something to get Hawkins out of [New York Times Editor Henry J.] Raymond’s way? We can elect Raymond if Hawkins will withdraw. Dodge has some chance if Manmier will withdraw.2

Thomas Webster writes President Lincoln regarding the recent vote to abolish slavery in Maryland: “I take the liberty of informing you that at a special meeting of this Committee, held last Evening, to consider the policy of illuminating this building — on Tuesday November 1st — to commemorate by Emblems, motto’s, music and Fire-works — the grand victory achieved in Maryland — of Right over Wrong — whereby over 100000 Christian slaves are made unconditionally free — was discussed, and it was determined by a vote of 37 to 3. to glorify Emancipation in Maryland–

I congratulate you on this result in this committee– All earnest men rejoice in over it– Had it been determined to adjourn or postpone this celebration ’till after 8th November — it would have lost you many votes– Now it will, in my judgment make votes for you– Be that as it may — this demonstration on Tuesday next will gratify all true friends of liberty to man–

The people are a long way ahead of those among us who are politicians only and calculate and speculate — while the people feel, think and act– I enclose rough wood-engraving of our building as it will be, November 1st 1864.

President Lincoln confers “with Pennsylvania U.S. Marshal William Millward, who subsequently writes President Lincoln: “I have endeavored to ascertain the information you wished in relation to the late vote in this state as compared with Governor Curtins2 last election–

I wrote to Harrisburg on my return from Washington, (last Monday) and was informed the Official Vote would be known in a few days– Thus far I have been unable to obtain it (The Home Vote)

This morning I telegraphed to Eli Slifer Secretary of the Commonwealth for the necessary information (supposing he would have it by this time) and enclosed you have his reply–

I have no doubt of the result of tomorrow. The response of the American people will be “Lincoln & Johnson, Amen–

Published in: on October 30, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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