Abraham Lincoln reference site established 2005

Excerpt of Letter to Mary Lincoln

Referencing Cooper Union Speech


The following excerpt of a letter from Abraham Lincoln to Mary Todd Lincoln was quoted in 1908, by Robert Todd Lincoln. The original letter or a complete copy have never been found.


     MARCH 4, 1860

     EXETER, N.H.

     I have been unable to escape this toil. If I had foreseen it, I think I would not have come east at all. The speech at New York, being within my calculation before I started, went off passably well and gave me no trouble whatever. The difficulty was to make nine others, before reading audiences who had already seen all my ideas in print.


source: Basler, Roy P. (editor). The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, volume III, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953, p. 555.



Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces
of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it.

    - Speech at New Haven, CT, March 6, 1860

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