Lewis C. Kercheval and Others to Abraham Lincoln, July 22, 18501A. Lincoln, Esq.[Esquire], Sir—
We, the undersigned committee, appointed at a meeting of our fellow-citizens, to act in conjunction with the committee appointed by the Common Council of this city, to select a suitable person to deliver an address to our citizens at the City Hall upon the life of Z. Taylor, deceased, late President of the U.S. of America.2
We have, with great unanimity of feeling and sentiment of both committees, selected yourself for the purpose named— and desire that you will be kind enough to accept thereof and to name the time when you will perform that duty, of addressing your fellow-citizens of Chicago, at the place named.3With sentiments of high esteeem,
Your fellow-citizons,L. C. Kerchehal,B. S. Morris,G. W. Dole,J. H. Kinzie,W. L. Newberry.
1This letter is attributed to Lewis C. Kercheval, Buckner S. Morris, George W. Dole, John H. Kinzie, and Walter L. Newberry, but the original letter with their signatures is not extant. Although the printed transcription of this letter does not include its full date, Abraham Lincoln’s reply reveals it was written July 22, 1850.
2On July 9, 1850, the Common Council of Chicago met to make arrangements for President Zachary Taylor’s memorial service. It appears the Council created a Committee of Arrangements to execute much of the work.
William E. Barton, The Life and Public Service of General Zachary Taylor: An Address by Abraham Lincoln (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1922), 5, 8.
3When the Council met on July 9, they immediately selected Lincoln to deliver the eulogy, and he informally accepted the invitation the next day. However, it was not until he replied to this letter on July 24, 1850, that Lincoln formally accepted the invitation to eulogize Taylor.
Earl Schenck Miers, ed., Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology, 1809-1865, Volume 2: 1849-1860, by William E. Baringer (Washington, DC: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission, 1960), 36.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s),
Chicago Daily Journal (IL), 24 July 1850, 2:4.