1861 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT LETTER WRITTEN ON STATIONARY ADDRESSED FROM THE 'EXECUTIVE MANSION'720
On offer is a very mysterious, enigmatic, perhaps incomplete as it is an unsigned, letter dated July 12, 1861 from the Executive Mansion. As evidenced on the first page in the hand of an old archivist or perhaps auction house this letter is written "During Lincoln's administration the man writing this was Lincoln's Secretary." This would have been written within months of Lincoln taking the Presidential office and moving into the White House. Lincoln had several secretaries including Hay, Nicolay, Stoddard and others. This letter we safely assume must have been written by one of them. This is a 4 page letter begins with "My Dear Child" but the recipient is also unidentified. There is mention in the letter of Clara Matteson and a gentleman named Charlie. Research suggests that Ms. Matteson is the daughter of Joel A. Matteson was Governor of Illinois. The letter is a very personal missive with the writer alluding to an intimacy with recipient and that she has reacted badly to information from outside sources: My Dear Child: What shall I do with you? How long will it be before you learn to trust your best friends quietly and not torture yourself and them with all kinds of strange surmises and fancies! I wish you could understand once and for all that I am your friend and cannot by any human possibility be otherwise...When every pleasant day I have spent at home for many years has been made pleasant by you; when the only house, besides my mother's, where I felt that I was welcome, has been your mother's...As to Clara Matteson, I own to a little surprise. I like her very much. My acquaintance with her, though very slight, convinced me that she was of a sweet and amiable disposition. I have many times spoken about you to her. She has often expressed a desire to know you....But you say you have never seen Clara. I am not responsible for what Clara's dear friends, say, nor is she." Lastly is an after-thought note in the upper left corner of the first page reads: "If you gave Charlie ammunition to have hit ___ then you are the one to blame not P." VG.
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