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    Robert Smith Todd, Father of Mary Todd Lincoln, Autograph Letter Signed "R.S. Todd", three-fourths of a page, 8" x 9.5", Frankfort [Kentucky], 23 January 1827, to "My dear wife" [Elizabeth Parker Todd]. Noting a failed attempt to send a letter by way of a visitor to Lexington, he writes again "lest you might infer that I had been culpably negligent in that particular. I calculate on being at home on Saturday . . . but at all events on Sunday. Mary Ann is only waiting for a hack to go up & I expect an opportunity will offer tomorrow or the next day. My time has been much occupied by business, which has become exceedingly laborious. I am very anxious . . . to be at home with you and the children." Todd, a Lexington banker and politician, was twice married. Elizabeth, his second wife, had a poor relationship with stepdaughter Mary Ann, who recalled her childhood miserably. The delightful aspect of this letter is the mention of eight-year old Mary, who Todd had obviously taken with him to the state capital. Mary learned to love politics at her father's knee and at his table - where Henry Clay was often a guest - and it was experience that must have helped her choose as a husband the man who became the most honored and beloved of all American statesmen. The letter has some separation along the folds, especially on back page (also has a circular tear on back page). Near very good.

    : possibly from Turner, lot 4; Sotheby Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, sale of 2-3 December 1981, lot 571.

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    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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