Abraham Lincoln to Samuel Galloway, June 19, 1860

    Source citation
    Abraham Lincoln to Samuel Galloway, June 19, 1860, Springfield, IL, in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols., New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 4: 79-80, http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/.
    Date Certainty
    Transcription adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), edited by Roy P. Basler
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953).
    Especially Confidential
    Hon: Saml. Galloway: Springfield, Ills.
    My dear Sir June 19, 1860

    Your very kind letter of the 15th. is received. Messrs. Follett, Foster & Co's Life of me is not by my authority; and I have scarcely been so much astounded by anything, as by their public announcement that it is authorized by me. They have fallen into some strange misunderstanding. I certainly knew they contemplated publishing a biography, and I certainly did not object to their doing so, upon their own responsibility. I even took pains to facilitate them. But, at the same time, I made myself tiresome, if not hoarse, with repeating to Mr. Howard, their only agent seen by me, my protest that I authorized nothing---would be responsible for nothing. How, they could so misunderstand me, passes comprehension. As a matter, wholly my own, I would authorize no biography, without time, and opertunity to carefully examine and consider every word of it; and, in this case, in the nature of things, I can have no such time and opertunity. But, in my present position, when, by the lessons of the past, and the united voice of all discreet friends, I am neither [to] write or speak a word for the public, how dare I to send forth, by my authority, a volume of hundreds of pages, for adversaries to make points upon without end. Were I to do so, the convention would have a right to reassemble, and substitute another name for mine. For these reasons, I would not look at the proof sheets. I am determined to maintain the position of truly saying I never saw the proof sheets, or any part of their work, before it's publication.

    Now, do not mistake me. I feel great kindness for Messrs. F. F. & Co---do not think they have intentionally done wrong. There may be nothing wrong in their proposed book. I sincerely hope there will not. I barely suggest that you, or any of the friends there, on the party account, look it over, & exclude what you may think would embarrass the party---bearing in mind, at all times, that I authorize nothing ---will be responsible for nothing. Your friend, as ever A.

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