Letter from Aug. 31, 1865

A Letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to Mrs. Anson G. Henry

  • Full Title

    A Letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to Mrs. Anson G. Henry

  • Description

    A Letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to Mrs. Anson G. Henry. Mrs. Henry's husband was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and the Surveyor General of Washington Territory at the time of Lincoln's death. Dr. Henry died on July 30, 1865. Mary Lincoln's letter expresses her sympathy for Mrs. Henry and her own grief for the death Dr. Henry and her husband.

  • Transcription

    Chicago, Aug 31st 1865.
    My very dear Mrs. Henry,


    Bowed down and broken hearted, and feeling so deeply for you, in your agonizing bereavement, I feel justified in approaching you at this time when we all feel I’ll alike crushed.


    We’ve have both been called upon to resign, to our Heavenly Father, two of the best men & the most devoted husbands that too unhappy women ever possessed.


    The terrible news that our beloved friend who so sympathized with us in our irreparable loss, is gone, has been received by us, only a day or two since. My sons and myself have been overcome, by the startling and heart rendering intelligence. We consider that we have lost our best & dearest friend. It has been my most ardent wish that Dr. Henry should have received an appointment in Washington, it would have been a great comfort to us, in our own overwhelming sorrow to have had you both near us. In this great trial, it is difficult, to be taught resignation, the only comfort, that remains to us is the blessed consolation, that our beloved ones, are rejoicing in their Heavenly Home, free from all earthly trials & in the holy presence of God & his angels, are singing the praises of the Redeemer. I long, to lay my own weary head, down to rest, by the side of my darling husband. I pray God, to grant me sufficient grace, to await his time, for I long, to be at rest. Without my idolized husband, I do not wish to remain on earth.


    Mr. Wm. T. Henry, called a day or two since. I was confined to my bed & did not see him. Robert saw him & he left, your telegram. Robert, immediately, wrote on to Washington, urging & pleading, for the appointment, of your son in law. We pray & trust the appeal, will be granted. You have no one, my dear friend, who could possibly feel for you, as I do, your grief is mine, in it, I am living over my own disconsolate state & the gratitude we feel for the dear Doctor’s recent sympathy, for us, in all things together with the great love, we all bore him, makes your troubles my own. How much, I wish, you lived nearer to us. We could then, weep, together over our dreary lot. The world, without my beloved husband & our best friend, is a sad and lonely place enough.

    Our poor little family, would be a gloomy picture, for any one to see, who has a heart to feel. It was a great trial, to me, when Dr. Henry left here in June, that I was unable to have access to some boxes, stored in the warehouse, where was deposited a cane of my husband’s, a large family Bible & some other things design for presentation, to the Dr. So soon as I can get to them, I shall avail myself, of the first opportunity, of sending them to you. I can offer you in conclusion, of this very sad letter, my dear Mrs. Henry, very little consolation, for I am so weary & heavy laden myself, over everything, concerning us both. I trust you will write me to me, for you are very dear to me, now & ever.


    With regards to your family, I remain always


    Your attached friend,


    Mary Lincoln.

    Transcribed by Janet Scanlon. Additional transcription by Alicia B, Ford's Theatre Society.

  • Source

    Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

  • Rights

    This item is in the public domain and may be reproduced and used for any purpose, including research, teaching, private study, publication, broadcast or commercial use, with proper citation and attribution.

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  • Cite this Item

    Mary Todd Lincoln. "A Letter from Mary Todd Lincoln to Mrs. Anson G. Henry". Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/1178