18 January 2011

President Lincoln writes a letter of thanks for "a pair of socks so fine"

On 4 Dec 1861, President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to my 5th great grandmother, Susannah Crume Weathers, thanking her for a letter and gift she had recently sent him:  "a pair of socks so fine".  It seems quite funny and odd on the surface of it, and yet how quaint, charming, and even noble it is.  The letter is inspirational to me, as it exemplifies President Lincoln's unpretentious and accessible character.

Below is the letter as reproduced in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5 (Wildside Press, 2008).  How I'd love to see the original letter Abraham Lincoln had received from Susannah on 26 Nov 1861, and to see this original handwritten letter from Abraham Lincoln back to her.

It's even more astonishing that Abraham Lincoln wrote such a letter considering that this was in the middle of the Civil War, and knowing that he had untold pressing issues to attend to.  According to The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 5, Abraham Lincoln wrote six other correspondences on the same day (4 Dec 1861):  two to Simon Cameron, two to the House of Representatives, one to George B. McClellan, and one to William H. Seward.

[As an aside, on my Crume/Weathers family line, Abraham Lincoln does not appear to be a direct blood relation to me.  Instead, he is the nephew of the wife of my 6th great grandfather.]