Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Manwon Lender

Trouble with President Lincolns Bixby Letter

Recommended Posts

Manwon Lender

The famous letter of condolence written by Abraham Lincoln to Lydia Bixby, a widow in Boston who had lost five sons in the Civil War. The letter, dated November 21, 1864, says: “I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

Yet the letter is hardly what it seems. the Mrs. Bixby to whom it was addressed was in fact a Confederate sympathizer who ran a *****house. Sarah Cabot Wheelwright, a Boston matron who became acquainted with Mrs. Bixby during the Civil War, described her as “a stout woman, more or less motherly-looking, but with shifty eyes.” Wheelwright and a friend considered hiring Mrs. Bixby until “the police on finding that we were helping this woman … told [the friend] that she kept a house of ill-fame, was perfectly untrustworthy and as bad as she could be.”

Thus the historian William E. Barton was justified when in 1926 he deemed the Bixby letter “a beautiful blunder.” He was probably not justified, however, when he insisted that Lincoln himself wrote it. That, too, is very doubtful. In fact it was almost certainly composed by Lincoln’s assistant personal secretary, John Hay. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, told Barton that Hay had written it, having heard from the British diplomat John Morley that Hay had admitted as much


The excerpts I have taken out of the article linked above barely cover the content with the article itself, please take the time to read the entire article, its worth reading and very interesting.



  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.