You are not lazy, and still you are an idler

Late-1850, Abraham Lincoln‘s step-brother, John D. Johnston, wrote to him and asked, yet again, for a loan with which to settle some debts. Said Johnston: I am dund & doged to Death so I am all most tired of Living, & I would all most swop my place in Heaven for that much money […]

I cannot remain silent

April 29th, 1865: Queen Victoria, still grieving and “utterly broken-hearted” following the death of Prince Albert four years previous, writes an empathetic letter of condolence to Mary Todd Lincoln following the recent assassination of her husband, Abraham Lincoln. Transcript follows. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. Image: Library of Congress Transcript April 29, 1865 Dear Madam, Though

All the ladies like whiskers

In 1860, having recently seen a picture of him without facial hair, an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell decided to write to Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln with a suggestion: to grow a beard. Her letter, and Lincoln’s reply, can be seen below. She met Lincoln a few months later, as the President-elect travelled victoriously to Washington,

The Little People’s Petition

Image: Library of Congress Early-1864, frustrated and saddened that the recently introduced Emancipation Proclamation only guaranteed the freedom of slaves in the Confederate States, 195 schoolchildren of Concord, Massachusetts signed the above “Petition of the children of the United States; (under 18 years) that the President will free all slave children” and, with the help

If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong

Three years into the American Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln wrote the following letter in order to summarise on paper some points he had previously made regarding the recruitment of slaves as Union soldiers and, ultimately, their freeing from the institution of slavery itself. Come the end of the war, all slaves in the