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    Description

    Mary Todd Lincoln Autograph Letter Signed "Mary Lincoln" (concluding words and signature written vertically at top of first page), one page, 5" x 8", on her monogrammed, black-bordered mourning stationery, Chicago [Illinois], 14 December [1867], to H. C. Deming, about an apparent proposal that she write about her late husband, and discussing the education of their beloved son Tad. "I have been unable to decide, whether under my present ill health and depression of feeling, I will be enabled to undertake the work you have suggested. . . . If next spring would answer as well, I might be able to give the subject some consideration. I scarcely think the coming Presidential campaign, with Grant, as the coming man . . . would affect any historical recollections connected with the life of my deeply lamented husband. When we reflect upon the past, how truly 'inscrutable the ways of Providence are.'" Turning to the subject of Tad, she writes: "I am very grateful . . . for the school circular . . . and feel greatly disposed to send my little son, to Farmington, Conn. Next May. At present, in the public school where he attends, a very young lady, is his teacher. He has arrived at the age, when he should be placed under the care of a gentleman, who understands the training of youths. . . . These western schools, from my observation, are as yet, far removed, from a proper system & management. Yet, I should desire, it not to be known, that I propose sending my son away." Although claiming to find the school's terms "reasonable", she says she must "place every thing, connected with Taddie, before his guardian" and asks "what deduction would be made, for the boy, not boarding at the establishment." It is not known whether Mrs. Lincoln ever mentioned this subject to judge David Davis (Tad's guardian) but in any event it came to naught; he and his mother moved to Europe in late 1868 and stayed two years, Tad attending school in Germany. They returned to America in early 1871 by which time Tad was fatally ill. The addressee, Henry C. Deming, was variously Colonel of the 12th Connecticut, a state legislator, mayor of Hartford and of occupied New Orleans, and a Civil War congressman. Apparently unpublished; not in Turner and Turner, Mary Todd Lincoln, Her Life and Letters. Toned with folds; fine.

    Provenance
    : Paul C. Richards Autographs, Gardner, MA, 1978.


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    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
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