Abraham Lincoln to Mary Lincoln, 12 June 18481Washington, June 12. 1848–My dear wife:
On my return from Philadelphia yesterday, where, in my anxiety I had been led to attend the Whig convention, I found your last letter– 2
I was so tired and sleepy, having ridden all night, that I could not answer it till to-day: and now I have to do so in the H. R– The leading matter in your letter, is your wish to return to this side of the Mountains–3 Will you be a good girl in all things, if I consent? Then come along, and that as soon as possible– Having got the idea in my head, I shall be impatient till I see you– You will not have money enough to bring you; but I presume your uncle will supply you, and I will refund him here– By the way you do not mention whether you have received the fifty dollars I sent you– I do not much fear but that you got it; because the want of it would have induced you say something in relation to it– If your uncle is already at Lexington, you might induce him to start on earlier than the first of July; he could stay in Kentucky ^longer^ on his return, and so make up for lost time–4 Since I began this letter, the H. R. has passed a resolution for adjourning on the 17th July, which probably will pass the Senate.5 I hope this letter will not be disagreeable to you; which, together with the circumstances under which I write, I hope will excuse me for not writing aAffectionatelyA Lincoln
<Page 2>longer one– Come on just as soon as you can– I want to see you, and our dear-dear boys very much– Every body here wants to see our dear Bobb–.
[ docketing ]
Mrs. Mary Lincoln
2The previous communication from Mary to Abraham may have been her letter of May 1848.
Abraham Lincoln, who supported General Zachary Taylor for president in 1848 over his former political idol Henry Clay, left Washington to attend the Whig national convention on June 6 and he returned on June 11. At the convention, Whigs nominated Taylor for president and Millard Fillmore for vice president.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 6 June 1848, http://thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1848-06-06; 9 June 1848, http://thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1848-06-09; 11 June 1848, http://thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1848-06-11; Michael F. Holt, The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 288, 325-26, 329.
3Lincoln arrived in Washington to begin his congressional career on December 2, 1847, bringing his wife and two children in tow. Mary stayed in Washington until sometime prior to April, when she and the children returned to stay with her parents in Lexington, Kentucky.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:257; Jean H. Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1987), 136-37, 141.
4Mary and the children returned to Washington sometime between July and September 1848. In September, they returned with Lincoln to Springfield, Illinois, via Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes.
5Lincoln did not vote on the resolution to adjourn. After several days of consideration, the Senate voted to amend the resolution to July 31, and subsequently they tabled it entirely. The two chambers later agreed to adjourn on August 14.
U.S. House Journal. 1848. 30th Cong.,1st sess., 884-85; U.S. Senate Journal. 1848. 30th Cong., 1st sess., 443, 600.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).