The bixby letter. Full Text of Lincoln Letter to Lydia Bixby 2022-10-15
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The Bixby letter is a letter written by United States President Abraham Lincoln to Lydia Bixby, a widow living in Boston, Massachusetts, during the American Civil War. The letter, dated November 21, 1864, was written in response to a letter that Bixby had sent to the president, informing him that five of her sons had died while serving in the Union Army.
In the letter, President Lincoln expresses his condolences to Bixby and thanks her for the sacrifice her family has made in the service of their country. He writes, "I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."
The letter has become famous for its eloquence and emotional power, and has been widely quoted and reprinted over the years. It has been described as one of the finest examples of Lincoln's ability to use language to express deep emotions and convey a sense of compassion and understanding.
In addition to its literary significance, the Bixby letter has also played a role in shaping the public's perception of Lincoln as a compassionate and caring leader. Many people have cited the letter as evidence of Lincoln's humanity and his ability to connect with people on a personal level, even in the midst of a devastating war.
Despite its fame, the authenticity of the Bixby letter has been the subject of some debate. Some historians have questioned whether Lincoln actually wrote the letter, or if it was written by one of his secretaries on his behalf. Others have suggested that the letter may have been heavily edited or revised after Lincoln's death.
Regardless of its authorship, the Bixby letter remains a poignant and powerful testament to the impact of the Civil War on the lives of ordinary Americans. It is a reminder of the sacrifices that were made by so many families during this difficult time, and the enduring strength and resilience of the human spirit.
THE BIXBY LETTER
While two of them died in battle, one was honorably discharged, one deserted for certain and the fifth may have deserted. Hay to Manning Leonard, Washington, June 9, 1864, Hay Papers, Brown University. Beveridge Papers, Library of Congress. Merrill Publishing Company, 1970 , vi. News and World Report article, Professor Michael Burlingame, a Lincoln biographer who has studied the Bixby letter, is a strong proponent of this theory. Charles Bixby, 20th Massachusetts Infantry, killed in action on May 3, 1863 near Fredericksburg.
Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, reports that Bixby had in fact lied about the death of her five sons. And of course it has long since won Mrs. Weir Mitchell, Washington, Aug. November 21, 1864 Dear Madam, 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. Even later than that, the Rev.
Was This Famous Lincoln Letter Written by His Secretary?
Rothman explains that the sequencing technique breaks down texts into tiny chunks, for instance a bigram is a sequence of two, a tri-gram is a sequence of three, and so on. Among others he confided this fact to … W. Burlingame reports that the original letter was either destroyed by Bixby soon after receiving it or was tossed out by the Evening Transcript after publication. In November 1864, a woman named Lydia Bixby received a letter purportedly written by President Abraham Lincoln telling her that her sons had died in the Civil War. I was there at the time appointed, and presently a very ill looking man, who had lost some of the fingers of his right hand, came towards me. The older have learned to ever expect it.
It may well be the most controversial condolence letter in the English language. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. You are sure to be happy again. Second, unlike Lincoln, Hay often employed the word beguile. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. He did not read one in fifty that he received.
Abraham Lincoln's Most Notorious Forgers — The Bixby Letter — Crime Library
One of the first to do so was William E. Dear Madam,-- 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. John Hay, Lincoln's Secretary of State Some historians believe that John Hay, Lincoln's secretary, may have authored the famous letter to Mrs. Using that method, the researchers decided to look at 500 texts known to be written by Hay and a similar number written by Lincoln. The missive has won praise as a masterpiece of the English language and comparable with — even better than — the Gettysburg Address. Clipping of Norfolk correspondence, June 18, 1862, Missouri Republican, June 25, 1862, p. Herbert Claiborne to Isaac Markens, New York, Feb.
Lincoln's Bixby Letter, The Inspiration for Saving Private Ryan
You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Two years later, she went to see Schouler again. William Barton visited Mrs. It hardly strains credulity to believe that Hay wrote this routine letter. Hay used the word beguile at least thirty times, while Lincoln never used it. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A.
Wakefield also argued that Hay could well have written such a profound letter. The original has never been found. Forgeries, however, have floated around since 1891. Later it was revealed that only two of Mrs. Hamilton stated that he had once owned the "original" manuscript from which countless reproductions had been made.
Enjoy the weekend, but remember the true meaning of Memorial Day—let Lincoln's letter below remind us all. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A. Weir Mitchell, Washington, Aug. He wrote to find out if the letter was an original, "or a very clever forgery. May God give you that consolation which is beyond all earthly power.
The informant may well have been Hay. My acquaintance with him began less than two years ago; yet through the latter half of the intervening period, it was as intimate as the disparity of our ages, and my engrossing engagements, would permit. Fehrenbacher of Stanford University for calling this to my attention. I am grateful to Don E. In 1862 she also asked him for help to visit another son in Maryland, wounded at the Battle of Antietam. Yet, since the letter's creation, its authenticity has been debated by countless handwriting experts, historians and scholars.
Abraham Lincoln's Bixby Letter Mystery Finally Solved After 150 Years
New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1953—55 , 8:116—17. Sarah Cabot Wheelwright, a Boston matron who became acquainted with Mrs. He began with some familiarity, but I soon put a stop to him, finding I could get no information from him, and sent him off. What did happen to the Bixby boys? Unsolved History: Investigating Mysteries of the Past. Morley expressed to Hay his great admiration for the Bixby letter, to which Hay listened with a quizzical look upon his face. And yet he was singularly modest and deferential in social intercourse.