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Young Mary Todd came to live in Springfield in 1839. Lincoln's persistent courtship ended in an engagement. On January 1, 1841, for reasons still a mystery, the engagement was broken. Lincoln's law partner John T. Stuart, who is also Miss Todd's cousin, reads nothing of the breakup in a letter from a despondent Lincoln.


Springfield, January 20, 1841                    

Dear Stuart:

I have had no letter from you since you left. No matter for that. What I wish now is to speak of our post office. You know I desired Dr. Henry to have that place when you left; I now desire it more than ever. I have, within the last few days, been making a most discreditable exhibition of myself in the way of hypochondriasm and thereby got an impression that Dr. Henry is necessary to my existence. Unless he gets that place he leaves Springfield. You therefore see how much I am interested in the matter.

We shall shortly forward you a petition in his favour signed by all or nearly all the Whig members of the legislature, as well as other Whigs.

This, together with what you know of the Dr.'s position and merits I sincerely hope will secure him the appointment. My heart is very much set upon it.

Pardon me for not writing more; I have not sufficient composure to write a long letter. As ever yours

A. Lincoln                 


This document is a copy of the unedited text of a written work by Abraham Lincoln. Some typographical errors which were present in the original text appear here as well. This document was copied in its entirety from The Living Lincoln, edited by Paul M. Angle and Earl Schenck Miers, published by Marboro Books Corp.

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