Behind the Scenes

by Elizabeth Keckley

Appendix—Letters from Mrs. Lincoln to Mrs. Keckley

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1868
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Keckley, E. (1868) Behind the Scenes London, England: Partridge and Oakey
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 7.4
  • Word Count: 6,740
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, african american literature, american history, american literature, autobiography, behind the scenes, biography
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"CHICAGO, Sunday Morning, Oct. 6.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—I am writing this morning with a broken heart after a sleepless night of great mental suffering. R. came up last evening like a maniac, and almost threatening his life, looking like death, because the letters of the World were published in yesterday's paper. I could not refrain from weeping when I saw him so miserable. But yet, my dear good Lizzie, was it not to protect myself and help others—and was not my motive and action of the purest kind? Pray for me that this cup of affliction may pass from me, or be sanctified to me. I weep whilst I am writing. * * * * I pray for death this morning. Only my darling Taddie prevents my taking my life. I shall have to endure a round of newspaper abuse from the Republicans because I dared venture to relieve a few of my wants. Tell Mr. Brady and Keyes not to have a line of mine once more in print. I am nearly losing my reason.

"Your friend,
"M. L."

"CHICAGO, Oct. 8.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—Bowed down with suffering and anguish, again I write you. As we might have expected, the Republicans are falsifying me, and doing just as they did when they prevented the Congressional appropriation. Mrs. —— knows something about these same people. As her husband is living they dare not utter all they would desire to speak. You know yourself how innocently I have acted, and from the best and purest motives. They will howl on to prevent my disposing of my things. What a vile, vile set they are! The Tribune here, Mr. White's paper, wrote a very beautiful editorial yesterday in my behalf; yet knowing that I have been deprived of my rights by the party, I suppose I would be mobbed if I ventured out. What a world of anguish this is—and how I have been made to suffer! * * * You would not recognize me now. The glass shows me a pale, wretched, haggard face, and my dresses are like bags on me. And all because I was doing what I felt to be my duty. Our minister, Mr. Swazey, called on me yesterday and said I had done perfectly right. Mrs. F— says every one speaks in the same way. The politicians, knowing they have deprived me of my just rights, would prefer to see me starve, rather than dispose of my things. They will prevent the sale of anything, so I have telegraphed for them. I hope you have received from B. the letters I have consigned to his care. See to this. Show none of them. Write me every day.

"M. L."

"CHICAGO, Wednesday, October 9th.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—It appears as if the fiends had let loose, for the Republican papers are tearing me to pieces in this border ruffian West. If I had committed murder in every city in this blessed Union, I could not be more traduced. And you know how innocent I have been of the intention of doing wrong. A piece in the morning Tribune, signed 'B,' pretending to be a lady, says there is no doubt Mrs. L.—is deranged—has been for years past, and will end her life in a lunatic asylum. They would doubtless like me to begin it now. Mr. S., a very kind, sympathizing minister, has been with me this morning, and has now gone to see Mr. Medill, of the Tribune, to know if he sanctioned his paper publishing such an article. * * * Pray for me, dear Lizzie, for I am very miserable and broken–hearted. Since writing this, I have just received a letter from Mr. Keyes, begging and pleading with me to allow them to use my name for donations. I think I will consent. * *

"Truly yours,
M. L."

"CHICAGO, Sunday, Oct. 13.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—I am greatly disappointed, having only received one letter from you since we parted, which was dated the day after. Day after day I sent to Mrs. F. for letters. After your promise of writing to me every other day, I can scarcely understand it. I hope to–morrow will bring me a letter from you. How much I miss you cannot be expressed. I hope you have arrived safely in Washington, and will tell me everything. * * * Was there ever such cruel newspaper abuse lavished upon an unoffending woman as has been showered upon my devoted head? The people of this ungrateful country are like the 'dogs in the manger;' will neither do anything themselves, nor allow me to improve my own condition. What a Government we have! All their abuse lavished upon me only lowers themselves in the estimation of all true–hearted people. The Springfield Journal had an editorial a few days since, with the important information that Mrs. Lincoln had been known to be deranged for years, and should be pitied for all her strange acts. I should have been all right if I had allowed them to take possession of the White House. In the comfortable stealings by contracts from the Government, these low creatures are allowed to hurl their malicious wrath at me, with no one to defend me or protect me, if I should starve. These people injure themselves far more than they could do me, by their lies and villany. Their aim is to prevent my goods being sold, or anything being done for me. In this, I very much fear, they have succeeded.

"Write me, my dear friend, your candid opinion about everything. I wished to be made better off, quite as much to improve your condition as well as for myself. * * * Two weeks ago, dear Lizzie, we were in that den of discomfort and dirt. Now we are far asunder. Every other day, for the past week, I have had a chill, brought on by excitement and suffering of mind. In the midst of it I have moved into my winter quarters, and am now very comfortably situated. My parlor and bedroom are very sweetly furnished. I am lodged in a handsome house, a very kind, good, quiet family, and their meals are excellent. I consider myself fortunate in all this. I feel assured that the Republicans, who, to cover up their own perfidy and neglect, have used every villanous falsehood in their power to injure me—I fear they have more than succeeded, but if their day of reckoning does not come in this world, it will surely in the next. * * * *

"Saturday.—I have determined to shed no more tears over all their cruel falsehoods, yet, just now, I feel almost forsaken by God and man—except by the latter to be vilified. Write me all that Keyes and Brady think of the result. For myself, after such abuse, I expect nothing. Oh! that I could see you. Write me, dear Lizzie, if only a line; I cannot understand your silence. Hereafter direct your letters to Mrs. A. Lincoln, 460 West Washington street, Chicago, Ill., care of D. Cole. Remember 460. I am always so anxious to hear from you, I am feeling so friendless in the world. I remain always your affectionate friend.

M. L."


"I cannot send this letter off without writing you two little incidents that have occurred within the past week. We may call it justice rendered for evil words, to say the least. There is a paper published in Chicago called the Republican, owned and published by Springfield men. Each morning since my return it has been thrown at my door, filled with abuse of myself. Four days ago a piece appeared in it, asking 'What right had Mrs. L. to diamonds and laces?' Yesterday morning an article appeared in the same paper, announcing that the day previous, at the house of Mr. Bunn (the owner of the paper), in Springfield, Illinois—the house had been entered at 11 in the morning, by burglars, and had been robbed of five diamond rings, and a quantity of fine laces. This morning's paper announces the recovery of these articles. Mr. Bunn, who made his hundreds of thousands off our government, is running this paper, and denouncing the wife of the man from whom he obtained his means. I enclose you the article about the recovery of the goods. A few years ago he had a small grocery in S——. These facts can be authenticated. Another case in point: The evening I left my house to come here, the young daughter of one of my neighbors in the same block, was in a house not a square off, and in a childish manner was regretting that I could not retain my house. The man in the house said: 'Why waste your tears and regrets on Mrs. Lincoln?' An hour afterward the husband and wife went out to make a call, doubtless to gossip about me; on their return they found their young boy had almost blinded himself with gunpowder. Who will say that the cry of the 'widow and fatherless' is disregarded in His sight! If man is not merciful, God will be in his own time.

M. L."

"CHICAGO, October 29.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—I received a very pleasant note from Mr. F. Douglass on yesterday. I will reply to it this morning, and enclose it to you to hand or send him immediately. In this morning's Tribune there was a little article evidently designed to make capital against me just now—that three of my brothers were in the Southern army during the war. If they had been friendly with me they might have said they were half brothers of Mrs. L., whom she had not known since they were infants; and as she left Kentucky at an early age her sympathies were entirely Republican—that her feelings were entirely with the North during the war, and always. I never failed to urge my husband to be an extreme Republican, and now, in the day of my trouble, you see how this very party is trying to work against me. Tell Mr. Douglass, and every one, how deeply my feelings were enlisted in the cause of freedom. Why harp upon these half brothers, whom I never knew since they were infants, and scarcely then, for my early home was truly at a boarding school. Write to him all this, and talk it to every one else. If we succeed I will soon send you enough for a very large supply of trimming material for the winter.

"M. L."

"CHICAGO, Nov. 2nd.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—Your letter of last Wednesday is received, and I cannot refrain from expressing my surprise that before now K. and B. did not go out in search of names, and have sent forth all those circulars. Their conduct is becoming mysterious. We have heard enough of their talk—it is time now they should be acting. Their delay, I fear, has ruined the business. The circulars should all have been out before the election. I cannot understand their slowness. As Mr. Greeley's home is in New York, he could certainly have been found had he been sought; and there are plenty of other good men in New York, as well as himself. I venture to say, that before the election not a circular will be sent out. I begin to think they are making a political business of my clothes, and not for my benefit either. Their delay in acting is becoming very suspicious. Their slow, bad management is ruining every prospect of success. I fear you are only losing your time in New York, and that I shall be left in debt for what I am owing the firm. I have written to K. and B., and they do nothing that I request. I want neither Mr. Douglass nor Garnet to lecture in my behalf. The conduct in New York is disgusting me with the whole business. I cannot understand what they have been about. Their delay has only given the enemies time to gather strength; what does it all mean? Of course give the lady at 609 permission to sell the dresses cheaper. * * * I am feeling wretchedly over the slowness and do–nothing style of B. & K. I believe in my heart I am being used as a tool for party purposes; and they do not design sending out a circular. * * *

"Your friend,
M. L."

"CHICAGO, Nov. 9, 1867.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—* * * Did you receive a letter a few days since, with one enclosed for F. Douglass? also a printed letter of mine, which I wished him to read? Do write me every other day at least, I am so nervous and miserable. And Lizzie, dear, I fear we have not the least chance of success. Do remain in New York a little longer, and occupy yourself with the sewing of your friends. Then I shall be able to learn something about my business. In your heart you know there will be no success. Why do you not candidly express yourself to me? Write me, if only a few lines, and that very frequently. R. called up on yesterday, with Judge Davis. * * * R. goes with Judge D. on Tuesday, to settle the estate, which will give us each about $25,000, with the income I told you of, $1,700 a year for each of us. You made a mistake about my house costing $2,700—it was $1,700. The $22,000 Congress gave me I spent for house and furniture, which, owing to the smallness of my income, I was obliged to leave. I mention about the division of the estate to you, dear Lizzie, because when it is done the papers will harp upon it. You can explain everything in New York; please do so to every one. Please see H. G., if it should come out in the papers. I had hoped, if something was gained, to have immediately placed you in more pleasant circumstances. Do urge F. D. to add his name to the circular; also get them to have Beecher's. There must not be an hour's delay in this. R. is very spiteful at present, and I think hurries up the division to cross my purposes. He mentioned yesterday that he was going to the Rocky Mountains so soon as Edgar Welles joined him. He is very deep. * * * Write me, do, when you receive this. Your silence pains me.

"Truly yours,
"M. L."


"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—I closed and sent off my letter before I had finished all I had to say. Do not hint to K. or B., or any one else, my doubts of them, only watch them. As to S. so many falsehoods are told in the papers that all the stuff about his wife and himself may be untrue. I hope it may prove so. I received a letter from Keyes this morning. I believe I wrote you that I had. How hard it is that I cannot see and talk with you in this time of great, great trouble. I feel as if I had not a friend in the world save yourself. * * I sometimes wish myself out of this world of sorrow and care. I fear my fine articles at B.'s are getting pulled to pieces and soiled. I do not wish you to leave N.Y. without having the finest articles packed up and returned to me. The single white camel's hair shawl and the two Paisleys I wish returned to me, if none of them are sold. Do you think there is the least chance of their being sold? I will give you a list of the articles I wish returned to me from Mr. Brady's before you leave New York for Washington.

    "1 Camel's hair shawl, double black centre.
    1 Camel's hair shawl, double white centre.
    1 Single white camel's hair shawl.
    2 Paisley shawls––white.
    1 Pair bracelets and diamond ring.
    1 Fine lace handkerchief.
    3 Black lace shawls.
    2 Black lama shawls.
    1 Dress, silk unmade, white and black.
    1 White boa.
    1 Russian sable boa.
    1 Russian sable cape.
    1 A. sable cape, cuffs and muff.
    1 Chinchilla set.

"The lace dress, flounce, and shawl, if there is no possibility of their being sold. Also all other fine articles return me, save the dresses which, with prices lowered, may be sold. * *

"M. L."

"CHICAGO, Nov. 15, '67.

"MY DEAR KECKLEY;—Your last letter has been received, and believe me, I duly appreciate your great interest in my affairs. I hope the day may arrive when I can return your kindness in more than words. As you are aware of my beloved husband's great indulgence to me in pecuniary matters, thereby allowing me to indulge in bestowing favors on those whom I considered worthy of it, it is in this respect I feel chiefly the humiliation of my small circumscribed income. If Congress, or the Nation, had given me the four years' salary, I should have been able to live as the widow of the great President Lincoln should, with sufficient means to give liberally to all benevolent objects, and at my death should have left at least half of it to the freedmen, for the liberty of whom his precious sacred life was sacrificed. The men who prevented this being done by their villanous unscrupulous falsehoods, are no friends of the colored race, and, as you well know, have led Johnson on in his wicked course.

"'God is just,' and the day of retribution will come to all such, if not in this world, in the great hereafter, to which those hoary–headed sinners are so rapidly hastening, with an innocent conscience. I did not feel it necessary to raise my weak woman's voice against the persecutions that have assailed me emanating from the tongues of such men as Weed & Co. I have felt that their infamous false lives was a sufficient vindication of my character. They have never forgiven me for standing between my pure and noble husband and themselves, when, for their own vile purposes, they would have led him into error. All this the country knows, and why should I dwell longer on it? In the blissful home where my worshipped husband dwells God is ever merciful, and it is the consolation of my broken heart that my darling husband is ever retaining the devoted love which he always so abundantly manifested for his wife and children in this life. I feel assured his watchful, loving eyes are always watching over us, and he is fully aware of the wrong and injustice permitted his family by a country he lost his life in protecting. I write earnestly, because I feel very deeply. It appears to me a very remarkable coincidence, that most of the good feeling regarding my straitened circumstances proceeds from the colored people, in whose cause my noble husband was so largely interested. Whether we are successful or not, Mr. F. Douglass and Mr. Garnet will always have my most grateful thanks. They are very noble men. If any favorable results should crown their efforts, you may well believe at my death, whatever sum it may be, will be bequeathed to the colored people, who are very near my heart. In yesterday's paper it was announced that Gov. Andrew's family were having $100,000 contributed to them. Gov. A. was a good man, but what did he do compared to President Lincoln? Right and left the latter gave, when he had but little to bestow, and in consequence his family are now feeling it; yet for my life I would not recall a dollar he ever gave. Yet his favorite expression, when I have playfully alluded to the 'rainy day' that might be in store for himself and his own on several occasions, he has looked at me so earnestly and replied, 'Cast your bread upon the waters.' Although the petty sum of $22,000 was an insufficient return for Congress to make me, and allowanced to its meagreness by men who traduced and vilified the loved wife of the great man who made them, and from whom they amassed great fortunes—for Weed, and Seward, and R. did this last. And yet, all this was permitted by an American people, who owed their remaining a nation to my husband! I have dwelt too long on this painful subject, but when I have been compelled from a pitiful income to make a boarding–house of my home, as I now am doing, think you that it does not rankle in my heart?

"Fortunately, with my husband's great, great love for me—the knowledge of this future for his petted and idolized wife was spared him, and yet I feel in my heart he knows it all. Mr. Sumner, the intimate friend of better days, called to see me two or three weeks since—he who had been an habitué of the White House—both the rooms of the President and my own reception–room, in either place he was always sure of a heartfelt welcome; my present situation must have struck a painful chord in his noble, sympathizing heart. And yet, when I endeavored to ameliorate my condition, the cry has been so fearful against me as to cause me to forget my own identity, and suppose I had plundered the nation, indeed, and committed murder. This, certainly, cannot be America, 'the land of the free,' the 'home of the brave.' The evening before Mr. Sumner's last call I had received Mr. Douglass's letter; I mentioned the circumstance to Mr. Sumner, who replied: 'Mr. Frederick Douglass is a very noble, talented man, and I know of no one who writes a more beautiful letter.' I am sending you a long letter, Lizzie, but I rely a great deal on your indulgence. My fear is that you will not be able to decipher the scrawl written so hastily.

"I remain, truly yours,

"CHICAGO, Nov. 17.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—By the time you receive this note, you will doubtless find the papers raving over the large income which we are each said to have. Knowing exactly the amount we each will have, which I have already informed you, I was going to say, I have been shocked at the fabulous sum set down to each, but I have learned not to be surprised at anything. Of course it is gotten up to defeat success. You will now see the necessity for those circulars being issued weeks since. I enclose you a scrap from yesterday's Times of C., marked No. 1; also No. 2, to–day's Times. The sum of $11,000 has been subtracted in twenty–four hours from the same paper. If it continues for a few days longer, it will soon be right. It is a secesh paper—says Congress gave me $25,000 as a present, besides $20,000 of remaining salary. The $25,000 you know to be utterly false. You can show this note to B. & K., also the scraps sent. Let no one see them but themselves, and then burn them. It is all just as I expected—that when the division took place, a 'mountain would be made of a mole–hill.' And I fear it will succeed in injuring the premeditated plans. If the war rages, the Evening News might simply say that the sum assigned each was false, that $75,000 was the sum the administrator, Judge Davis, filed his bonds for. But by all means my authority must not be given. And then the Evening News can descant on the $25,000 each, with income of $1,700 each, and Mrs. Lincoln's share, she not being able to touch any of her sons' portion. My word or testimony must not appear in the article; only the paper must speak decidedly. It must be managed very judiciously, and without a day's delay.

"Yours truly,
"M. L."

"Nov 17—(Private for yourself).

"LIZZIE:—Show the note enclosed with this to B. & K.; do not let them retain it an instant after reading, nor the printed articles. I knew these falsehoods would be circulated when the estate was divided. What has been the cause of the delay about the circulars? I fear, between ourselves, we have reason to distrust those men,——. Whatever is raised by the colored people, I solemnly give my word, at my death it shall all, every cent, be returned to them. And out of the sum, if it is $50,000, you shall have $5,000 at my death; and I cannot live long, suffering as I am now doing. If $25,000 is raised by your people, you shall have the sum at my death; and in either event, the $25,000 raised, or $50,000, I will give you $300 a year, and the promised sum at my death. It will make your life easier. I have more faith in F.D.'s and G.'s efforts, than in B. & K., I assure you. This division has been trumped up just now through spite. * * I have written to Judge Davis for an exact statement, which I will send to you when received. Write if any thing is doing. * * *

"M. L."

"CHICAGO, November 21.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—Your letter of Tuesday is just received. I have just written B. a note of thanks for his kindness; also requesting the articles of which I gave you a list. Do see Keyes about it; K. will have it done. And will you see that they are forwarded to me before you leave New York? K. sent me a telegram on yesterday that eight names were on the circulars, and that they would be sent out immediately. What success do you think they will have? By all means assure K. & B. I have great confidence in them. These circulars must bring some money. Your letter made me quite sad. Talk to K. & B. of the grateful feelings I express towards them. Do pet up B., and see my things returned to me. Can you not, dear Lizzie, be employed in sewing for some of your lady friends in New York until December 1st? If I ever get any money you will be well remembered, be assured. R. and a party of young men leave for the Rocky Mountains next Monday, to be absent three weeks. If the circulars are sent out, of course the blasts will be blown over again. So R. is out of the way at the time, and money comes in, I will not care. Write the hour you receive this. I hope they will send out 150,000 circulars. Urge K. & B. to do this.

"Your friend,
"M. L."

"Saturday Morning, November 23d.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—Although I am suffering with a fearful headache to–day, yet, as your note of Wednesday is received, I must write. I am grieved to find that you are so wretchedly low–spirited. * * * On Wednesday, the 20th of November, K. sent me the telegram I send you. If he is not in earnest, what does it mean? What is the rate of expenses that B. has gone to in my business, that he dares to withhold my immense amount of goods? Do you believe they intend sending out those circulars? Of course you will be well rewarded if we have any success, but as to $500 'now,' I have it not for myself, or any one else. Pray, what does B. propose to charge for his expenses? I pray God there will be some success, although, dear Lizzie, entirely between ourselves, I fear I am in villanous hands. As to money, I haven't it for myself just now, even if nothing comes in. When I get my things back, if ever, from——, I will send you some of those dresses to dispose of at Washington for your own benefit. If we get something, you will find that promises and performance for this life will be forth–coming. * * * * It is mysterious why B. NEVER writes, and K. once, perhaps, in three weeks. All this is very strange. * *

"M. L."

"CHICAGO, Sunday, Nov. 24th.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—I wrote you on yesterday and am aware it was not a pleasant letter, although I wrote what I fear will turn out to be truths. It will be two weeks to–morrow since the legally attested consent from me was received by B. and K., and yet names have not been obtained for it, when last heard from. * * However, we will soon see for ourselves. If you and I are honest in our motives and intentions, it is no reason all the world is so. * * * If I should gain nothing pecuniarily by the loud cry that has been made over my affairs, it has been a losing game indeed. * * * * And the laugh of the world will be against me if it turns out as I now think; there is no doubt it will be all failure. If they had issued those circulars when they should have done, before the election, then it would have been all right. Alas! alas! what a mistake it has all been! I have thought seriously over the whole business, and know what I am about. I am grateful for the sympathy of Mr. F. Douglass and Mr. Garnet. I see that F. D. is advertised to lecture in Chicago some time this winter. Tell him, for me, he must call and see me; give him my number. If I had been able to retain a house, I should have offered him apartments when he came to C.; as it is, I have to content myself with lodgings. An ungrateful country this! I very much fear the malignity of Seward, Weed, and R. will operate in Congress the coming winter, and that I will be denounced there, with their infamous and villanous falsehoods. The father of wickedness and lies will get those men when they 'pass away;' and such fiends as they are, always linger in this mortal sphere. The agitation of mind has very much impaired my health. * * * * Why, why was not I taken when my darling husband was called from my side? I have been allowed no rest by those who, in my desolation, should have protected me. * * * * How dearly I should love to see you this very sad day. Never, dear Lizzie, think of my great nervousness the night before we parted; I had been so harassed with my fears. * * * *

"Always yours,
"M. L."

"December 26.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—Your letters just received. I have just written to K. to withdraw the C. Go to him yourself the moment you receive this. The idea of Congress doing anything is ridiculous. How much —— could effect if he chose, through others. Go to B. & K. the moment you receive this.

M. L."

"CHICAGO, December 27.

"DEAR LIZZIE:—I wrote you a few lines on yesterday. I have twice written to Mr. K. to have the C. stopped. Go and see him on the subject. I believe any more newspaper attacks would lay me low * * * As influence has passed away from me with my husband, my slightest act is misinterpreted. 'Time makes all things right.' I am positively suffering for a decent dress. I see Mr. A. and some recent visitors eyeing my clothing askance. * * Do send my black merino dress to me very soon; I must dress better in the future. I tremble at the bill that B. & K. may send me, I am so illy prepared to meet any expense. All my articles not sold must be sent to me. I leave this place early in the spring; had you better not go with me and share my fortunes, for a year or more? * * Write.

"Yours, etc.,
M. L."

"CLIFTON HOUSE, January 12.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—Your last letter was received a day or two since. I have moved my quarters to this house, so please direct all your letters here. Why did you not urge them not to take my goods to Providence? For heaven's sake see K. & B. when you receive this, and have them immediately returned to me, with their bill. I am so miserable I feel like taking my own life. My darling boy, my Taddie alone, I fully believe, prevents the deed. Your letter announcing that my clothes[C] were to be paraded in Europe—those I gave you—has almost turned me wild. R. would go raving distracted if such a thing was done. If you have the least regard for our reason, pray write to the bishop that it must not be done. How little did I suppose you would do such a thing; you cannot imagine how much my overwhelming sorrows would be increased. May kind Heaven turn your heart, and have you write that this exhibition must not be attempted. R. would blast us all if you were to have this project carried out. Do remember us in our unmitigated anguish, and have those clothes, worn on those fearful occasions, recalled. * * I am positively dying with a broken heart, and the probability is that I shall be living but a very short time. May we all meet in a better world, where such grief is unknown. Write me all about yourself. I should like you to have about four black widow's caps, just such as I had made in the fall in New York, sent to me. * * * Of course you would not suppose, if I had you come out here and work for me six weeks, I would not pay your expenses and pay you as you made each dress. The probability is that I shall need few more clothes; my rest, I am inclined to believe, is near at hand. Go to B. & K., and have my clothes sent me without further publicity. * * * I am feeling too weak to write more to–day. Why are you so silent? For the sake of humanity, if not me and my children, do not have those black clothes displayed in Europe. The thought has almost whitened every hair of my head. Write when you receive this.

"Your friend,
M. L."

[Footnote C] The clothes that I have given for the benefit of Wilberforce College. They have been deeded to Bishop Payne, who will do with them as he thinks best, for the cause to which they are dedicated. The letter on page 366 will explain more fully.

"NEW YORK CITY, Jan. 1st, 1868.

"BISHOP PAYNE, D.D.—DEAR SIR:—Allow me to donate certain valuable relics, to be exhibited for the benefit of Wilberforce University, where my son was educated, and whose life was sacrificed for liberty. These sacred relics were presented to me by Mrs. Lincoln, after the assassination of our beloved President. Learning that you were struggling to get means to complete the college that was burned on the day our great emancipator was assassinated, prompted me to donate, in trust to J. P. Ball (agent for Wilberforce College), the identical cloak and bonnet worn by Mrs. Lincoln on that eventful night. On the cloak can be seen the life–blood of Abraham Lincoln. This cloak could not be purchased from me, though many have been the offers for it. I deemed it too sacred to sell, but donate it for the cause of educating the four millions of slaves liberated by our President, whose private character I revere. You well know that I had every chance to learn the true man, being constantly in the White House during his whole administration. I also donate the glove worn on his precious hand at the last inaugural reception. This glove bears the marks of thousands who shook his hand on that last and great occasion. This, and many other relics, I hope you will receive in the name of the Lincoln fund. I also donate the dress worn by Mrs. Lincoln at the last inaugural address of President Lincoln. Please receive these from—

Your sister in Christ,

[Footnote D] I have since concluded to retain the glove as a precious souvenir of our beloved President.

"CLIFTON HOUSE, Jan. 15, 1868.

"MY DEAR LIZZIE:—You will think I am sending you a deluge of letters. I am so very sad today, that I feel that I must write you. I went out last evening with Tad, on a little business, in a street car, heavily veiled, very imprudently having my month's living in my pocket–book—and, on return, found it gone. The loss I deserve for being so careless, but it comes very hard on poor me. Troubles and misfortunes are fast overwhelming me; may the end soon come. I lost $82, and quite a new pocket–book. I am very, very anxious about that bill B. & K. may bring in. Do go, dear Lizzie, and implore them to be moderate, for I am in a very narrow place. Tell them, I pray you, of this last loss. As they have not been successful (BETWEEN OURSELVES), and only given me great sorrow and trouble, I think their demand should be very small. (Do not mention this to them.) Do, dear Lizzie, go to 609, and talk to them on this subject. Let my things be sent to me immediately, and do see to it, that nothing is left behind. I can afford to lose nothing they have had placed in their hands. I am literally suffering for my black dress. Will you send it to me when you receive this? I am looking very shabby. I hope you have entirely recovered. Write when you receive this.

"Very truly yours,
M. L."

"CHICAGO, Feb. 7.

"MR. BRADY:—I hereby authorize Mrs. Keckley to request my bill from you; also my goods. An exact account must be given of everything, and all goods unsold returned to me. Pray hand Mrs. Keckley my bill, without fail, immediately.


"SATURDAY, Feb. 29.

"DEAR LIZZIE:—I am only able to sit up long enough to write you a line and enclose this check to Mr. K. Give it to him when he gives you up my goods, and require from him an exact inventory of them. I will write you to–morrow. The hour you receive this go to him, get my goods, and do not give him the check until you get the goods, and be sure you get a receipt for the check from him. * * In his account given ten days since, he said we had borrowed $807; now he writes for $820. Ask him what this means, and get him to deduct the $13. I cannot understand it. A letter received from K. this morning says if the check is not received the first of the week, my goods will be sold so do delay not an hour to see him. * * My diamond ring he writes has been sold; the goods sold have amounted to $824, and they appropriate all this for their expenses. A precious set, truly. My diamond ring itself cost more than that sum, and I charged them not to sell it under $700. Do get my things safely returned to me. * * *

"M. L."