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Mystery Lincoln letter to 'my dear sir' revealed: Intrigue of politics in 1860

Mystery Lincoln letter unravels "Dear Sir's" name!
Mystery Lincoln letter unravels "Dear Sir's" name!
Wikimedia Commons

A mystery Lincoln letter gets the cloud around it lifted as experts at the Papers of Lincoln Project unraveled the mystery of the letter that is simply addressed to “my dear Sir.” One phrase in particular, which was, “keep up a correspondence,” was the clue that led the experts to cracking the mystery, according to USA Today on March 10.

It seems this letter doesn’t have a name and some of the things that President Lincoln had written in this note were clipped out. While deciphering the letter didn’t reveal any great historic secrets, it did show the inner workings of politics back in Lincoln’s time, going into the 1860 election.

The letter was written to Leonard Swett, this was established because a previous letter to him had some of the same favor requests made by Lincoln to Swett. One of the most famous presidents of the U.S. had asked this attorney from his home state of Illinois to keep an eye on a man that Lincoln would like as a supporter.

The man, Thurlow Weed, was a political boss in New York State and he edited a Republican newspaper. Weed was ready to back William Seward, but later stepped over to Lincoln’s side for the Republican nomination. Lincoln made Seward Secretary of State after he was elected.

The Papers project is taking approximately 200,000 thousand documents into “aged computers” to keep for future generations as a part of history.