John L. Scripps to Abraham Lincoln, July 17, 1860

    Source citation
    John L. Scripps to Abraham Lincoln, July 17, 1860, Chicago, IL, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress,
    Date Certainty
    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.
    Chicago, July 17th 1860

    My Dear Sir,

    I send you by this day's mail a copy of the Campaign Biography.

    You understand some of the difficulties under which it has been prepared. First, I labored two weeks after my return from Springfield upon the plan of making a pamphlet of 96 pages. Then Medill made the arrangement in New York for a pamphlet of 32 pages -- and the Tribune people would consent to no delay. My only resource then was to condense here and omit there, instead of writing it over as I wished upon the plan of making a pamphlet of 32 pages. After I got to New York I had the printers estimate how much of my manuscript, with the accompanying extracts, it would require to make the 32 pages. I furnished the precise amount. As fast as the the pages were set up it was they were stereotyped. When the whole was in type, it was found we had 35 pages, and Greeley & Co, insisted upon having the 32nd page reserved for their advertisment. I then had to take out cut down four pages, and there were only about eight pages remaining to be stereotyped. I did the best I could, but you will see that both the account of your debates with Douglass [Douglas] as well as the conclusion, are sadly botched. There was no help for it. I have also reason to feel a little hard at some of my Springfield friends. Before I left there, I had the promise from some there of certain material which they could easily have furnished. I was to have it without delay. After waiting a week, I wrote. My letters have not yet been answered. However, I will not complain.

    I believe the biography contains nothing that I was not fully authorized to put into it. In speaking of the books you read in early life, I took the liberty of adding Plutarch's Lives. I take it for granted that you had read that book. If you have not, then you must read it at once to make my statement good. I cannot expect that you will be greatly pleased with the performance. It fails very much of pleasing me, and of course I cannot hope any one will have a higher opinion of my own offspring than myself. But while I do not anti expect it to excite any positive gratification on your part, I shall be much pleased to know that there is nothing in it that is positively painful to you. More than this I cannot expect.

    Very Truly Yours

    J. L. Scripps
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