George Ashmun to Abraham Lincoln, June 18, 1860

    Source citation
    George Ashmun to Abraham Lincoln, June 18, 1860, Springfield, MA, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Author (from)
    Ashmun, George
    Date Certainty
    Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.
    Springfield: Mass;
    June 18. 1860

    My Dear Sir;
    There may not be importance enough to any one but myself in the matter of this note to justify my troubling you with it; & yet I feel that possibly there may be some need of self justification to you.

    I was both surprized & mortified last week to see that the private note which you wrote me about the name had got into print; & it may possibly have reached your eye. I know that your own first impression would be that I had not very prudently exercised the discretion which you gave me. I do not feel that any great harm has been done to any one else than myself -- & hence this explanation. When your note arrived the official letter had been in type some days, awaiting the arrival of Mr Hamlin's reply. I called on one of the Editors of the Republican, & authorized a change to the full christian name. He then asked the liberty of retaining the note as an autograph. Without reflection I assented; & thought no more of the matter. The official letter appeared the next day in proper form. The next week the Senior Editor came home,-- having been absent in Washington,-- & seeing the note, & not being posted as to what had taken place in his absence, caused it to be published upon the belief that I had furnished it for that purpose. On my calling him seriously to account for this blunder, he expressed the greatest regret & desired me to lay the whole blame upon his shoulders. He is my most excellent friend, & the most efficient Editor in New England; & I am quite sure he is free from any profound wrong. It has been, however, a most annoying incident;-- but I have thought it best to let it pass & be forgotten as speedily as possible, rather than to dignify it & perpetuate attention to it by any public explanation.

    It was due to you, as well as to myself that the exact facts should be related to you;-- & this is my excuse for the present [tax?] upon your attention.

    I remain

    Sincerely & Truly Yours
    Geo: Ashmun
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