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The Truth about Lincoln

By Agatha A. Soubirous on October 29th, 1864

President Lincoln received earlier this day an illustrious guest in the Executive Mansion.

Attend to her narrative:

Dear Friend,

The president was seated at his desk. Mrs. C. said to him, “This is Sojourner Truth, who has come all the way from Michigan to see you.” He then arose, gave me his hand, made a bow, and said, “I am pleased to see you.”

I said to him, Mr. President, when you first took your seat I feared you would be torn to pieces, for I likened you unto Daniel, who was thrown into the lion’s den; and if the lions did not tear you into pieces, I knew that it would be God that had saved you; and I said if he spared me I would see you before the four years expired, and he has done so, and now I am here to see you for myself.

He then congratulated me on my having been spared. Then I said, I appreciate you, for you are the best president who has ever taken the seat. He replied: ‘I expect you have reference to my having emancipated the slaves in my proclamation. But,’ said he, mentioning the names of several of his predecessors (and among them emphatically that of Washington), ‘they were all just as good, and would have done just as I have done if the time had come. If the people over the river [pointing across the Potomac] had behaved themselves, I could not have done what I have; but they did not, which gave me the opportunity to do these things.’ I then said, I thank God that you were the instrument selected by him and the people to do it. I told him that I had never heard of him before he was talked of for president. He smilingly replied, ‘I had heard of you many times before that.’

He then showed me the Bible presented to him by the colored people of Baltimore, of which you have no doubt seen a description. I have seen it for myself, and it is beautiful beyond description. After I had looked it over, I said to him, This is beautiful indeed; the colored people have given this to the head of the government, and that government once sanctioned laws that would not permit its people to learn enough to enable them to read this book. And for what? Let them answer who can.

I must say, and I am proud to say, that I never was treated by any one with more kindness and cordiality than were shown to me by that great and good man, Abraham Lincoln, by the grace of God president of the United States for four years more. He took my little book, and with the same hand that signed the death-warrant of slavery, he wrote as follows:

For Aunty Sojourner Truth
October 29, 1864

As I was taking my leave, he arose and took my hand, and said he would be pleased to have me call again. I felt that I was in the presence of a friend, and I now thank God from the bottom of my heart that I always have advocated his cause, and have done it openly and boldly. I shall feel still more in duty bound to do so in time to come. May God assist me.



P.S. Donate.

His letter to Mrs. Bixby

By John Hay, Assistant Private Secretary to the President on October 26th, 1864

I wish to keep with you a reply our president penned today to Mrs. Lydia Bixby, a woman whose fivefold hardship latterly crossed your desk:

To Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

It is on rare occasion that you bear witness to his solemn grace.

For myself, it is an everyday honor.


DotD: Amateur surgery at Mower

By S.L. Wiley on October 25th, 1864

‘Twas only a week ago we called for you to peregrinate with us to battleground states.

By stagecoach you came! By steamboat you came!

We now celebrate the labor of our amateur surgeons, for they have served our Billy Yanks well.

Our new media interns captured the volunteers hard at work in ‘slyvania’s Mower Hospital.

Look, see, in our Daguerreotype o’ the Day!

How now their faces scantily contain their joy! It spreads boundlessly ‘cross their faces!

Despite gaiety, work does not cease.

Advance towards Virginia! Georgia! Any battleground state! Do so with expeditiousness!


Your sweaty brow is coveted.


By Lincoln for the Union on October 23rd, 1864

The president sure licked George McClellan last night, didn’t he?

The #press sure seems to think so:





@nytimes (on McClellan):


(Not quite sure how that last one got in there.)

1864 Stories


By Archibald Chauncey on October 19th, 1864

If you find 15 cents a paltry sum, consider the letter below.

Its ink is smudged and pages worn, passing hand to hand among our cohort.

Dear President Lincoln,

Regarding the 15 cents I have delivered unto you: It is all that I could bear.

In my youth, my family drove west, hoping — as so many others hoped — to see the elephant.

It was not without hardship that I reached Willamette Valley. My father drowned during a routine river-fording. The bite of a rattlesnake left my mother rigid, nerveless and hemorrhaging from the ears. Weeks later, with her strength restor’d by the grace of Dr. Magnerson’s Medical Mercury Drops, an ox crushed her to death. Sister went mad with grief, envisioning herself a three-spined stickleback, and spent days submerging herself in the North Platte River. Shocking no one, she caught the bloody flux and died a slow, fitful death.

Old age has not been kinder.

My five beloved sons — Edward, Charles, Henry, Oliver and George — have all given their lives in the War of the Rebellion. There is nothing left for me.

Kind Abraham, I am broken — in heart and fortune. My blood boils.

But I am with you.

I was to buy a gallon of molasses, but I forsake this humble luxury in exchange for endowing your end: the salvation of our broken union.

Be wise with my 15 cents. Be wise with all that I have.

Yours in trust and trust alone,

Lydia Bixby

Can you picture it?

By Agatha A. Soubirous on October 18th, 1864


We’re drawing up plans for the campaign’s last Rail Splitting with Abraham.

Just thought we’d share with you a sneak peak of what we’re thinking:

Make a donation of 15¢ or more and we’ll automatically enter you for a chance to split rails with the Great Rail Splitter.

You. The president. A once-open pasture now enclosed by a red cedar split rail fence.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?


The second presidential debate

By Phineas Decatur on October 18th, 1864

Resolved: President Lincoln won the second debate.

Read the print of the newspaperman. Hear the bellows of the town crier.

His victory is self-evident.

Nowhere does his triumph resonate more profoundly than in the words of your telegraphs:


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