Springfield researchers discover Abraham Lincoln document in Switzerland

10:40 AM, Jul 23, 2013   |    comments
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KSDK) - An Abraham Lincoln document has been discovered in Switzerland.

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln research project based at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. identified the document as a two-page letter of introduction for female journalist Emilie Jane Merriman. It was written May 22, 1863 by clergyman Henry Ward Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and includes a note from President Lincoln at the bottom.

LINK: View the Lincoln document

Merriman, who was a correspondent for the New York Times, witnessed Lincoln's Second Inaugural and the Inaugural Ball.

The document reads, "I desire to commend the bearer, Mrs. E. R. Merriman, to the care & affectionate confidence of all Christians among whom her lot may be cast. She is a member beloved of the Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and during her absence, on errands of travel, carries with her the sympathy and Christian esteem of her brethren in fellowship. May the Lord watch over her, under every sky, and safely restore her in due season to her place and friends in America. Henry Ward Beecher."

Lincoln's note below the letter reads, "Executive Mansion
Washington, March 7, 1865 I have no personal acquaintance with the lady of whom Mr Beecher has written above; but his commendation is a good voucher with me, and should be, I think, with others. A. Lincoln."

Researchers discovered the document during the Papers of Abraham Lincoln's global search for any document written by or to President Lincoln.

Tim Verhoeven from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia notified the project he remembered seeing a Lincoln-related item while he was doing research in Switzerland. He sent a digital image of the item to Springfield.

Papers of Abraham Lincoln researchers then contacted the Bibliotheque de Geneve, and were able to confirm the letter as authentic.


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