Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.
My Dear Sir,
It was my suspicion that Abr Lincoln was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth; and that suspicion more than anything else impelled me to make the request which I did. Matthias Mount, on Mackinaw, whom you know very well, used to tell me -- -- I know not with how much truth -- of your joint adventures in rail-splitting and the like, for wages that would now seem ridiculously small. He told me enough to make me desirous to learn more; and I take it that the public to whom you are an object of concern, have the same curiosity that I feel. In my way of thinking, you occupy a position, present and prospectively, that need not shrink from the declaration of an origin ever so humble. If you have been the architect of your own fortunes, you may claim the most merit. The best part of the Lincoln family is not, like potatoes, under the ground. Had you not better reconsider your request refusal?
About that late paragraph of which you complain: It was done in my absence. As no man is ubiquitous or can be omniscient, somethings in the management of a daily paper must be trusted to subordinates; and sometimes somethings go wrong. That paragraph was one of them. I think Medill did it. It seems to have made no stir; perhaps it escaped observation. I hope so.