Lincoln Letter Writer Finally IDed

Researcher matches writing to newspaper editor Andrew Johnston
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2014 2:07 PM CST
Lincoln Letter Writer Is Finally IDed
The Lincoln home.   (Wikipedia Commons)

It's a mystery more than a century in the making, but the author of a long-lost letter to Abraham Lincoln, split into four pieces and found in a mouse's nest within the walls of the Lincoln Home in 1987, may finally be revealed. More than 165 years after the letter was sent on March 10, 1846, an editor at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln has identified its author via a second note sent to Lincoln in 1865. The handwriting on each piece, plus a third scribbling on the back of a letter from Lincoln, pegs Andrew Johnston, a newspaper editor and fan of Lincoln's poetry, as a perfect match, the State Journal-Register reports.

The men had a long correspondence about poetry and politics, but the letter—a response to a poem Lincoln sent to Johnston two weeks earlier—is one of only a few pieces to survive from before Lincoln became president. "It illuminates an interesting part of Lincoln's career in that he enjoyed poetry and tried his own hand at poetry," says PAL's director. Full story here. (More Abraham Lincoln stories.)

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