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Goodwin, Sadie (fl. 1861) to Susie B. Goodwin

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02695 Author/Creator: Goodwin, Sadie (fl. 1861) Place Written: Springfield, Illinois Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 12 February 1861 Pagination: 10 p. : envelope ; 22 x 14 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes to her sister about family news and the weather. Describes a visit made to her home by the Lincoln family. Speaks critically of Mrs. Lincoln's ability to control her son and remarks on the poor behavior of Tad, "Sonny" whom she feels is spoiled and uncontrolled. States that when the Lincoln family departed, Mr. Lincoln went to Washington while Mrs. Lincoln went to St. Louis to visit her sister. States that a crowd formed at the depot to see him off and that Lincoln made a brief speech. Informs that the Lincolns will meet up again in Indianapolis. Comments that an acquaintance has told her stories about the Lincoln's courtship and mentions that Mrs. Lincoln's aristocratic family was opposed to the match. Discusses mutual acquaintances, future plans, and visitors. Addressed to Susie in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Full Transcript: Springfield- Feb 12th
Tuesday Afternoon
My Dear Julie,
I was very much delighted a few evenings since to receive a nice long letter from you & a little note from Mother. ...They were so welcome that, although I had written Mother only a day or two before, I nevertheless felt strongly tempted to sit right down & answer them - but on reflection concluded to defer doing so until I had something more to say. I was quite interested in the account of Lizzie Thompson's preparations for marriage & hope to hear in your next letter a description of the wedding. I don't think the cards were very stylish - not large enough or the right shape either. I think Lizzie must have made [2] a lovely bride. From all account, I judge that Walter & Loris are recovering from their grief- that is, if they even feel any - it is right down mean in Walter to detain Grandpa's portrait. I think he is in duty bound to let Mother or one of the others have it, for of course, he does not value it at all, as they would - dont the family think it mean in him to keep it? I am glad to hear that the Dwight's & Aunt Susan are enjoying themselves so much. Baltimore must be very pleasant at this season.
The weather here is perfectly charming- just much as we have in Portsmouth in April- there is not a particle of snow & you can hardly imagine how I dread returning to it, for we hear that they still [3] have good sleighing at the farm & very cold weather. The regular session closes about the middle of next week, but they may not finish up all their business before the end of the week. Mother inquires about the fuss here with the Democrats. There was none in reality - the papers exaggerated things very much. This is the first year there has been a Republican Majority in both House & Senate & of course the Democrats felt a little sore about it & tried for a day or two after getting here to bother them by absenting themselves, so that they could not have a quorum - it occasioned a little delay & some fun - that was all. Every thing has throughout the session progressed smoothly & pleasantly on both sides. Springfield people say that [4] there was never so interesting a session as this, for the reason that things have been conducted so peaceably & without any fighting.
Mr & Mrs Lincoln came here on Saturday evening about tea time - Mr L entered the dining room with "Sonny" by the hand & took his Tea like any ordinary person - had some difficulty in managing "Sonny" who was disposed to be very grasping & fill his plate with all the good things he could lay his hands on - he carries this child with him wherever he goes & thinks him, I understand, a wonderful specimen. And so he is - for there was never a worse behaved young one. I wish I could tell you some of the answers he made to gentlemen in the [5] house here, who asked him his name & c! When I went down to breakfast the next morning, Mr & Mrs Lincoln were at the table - Mrs L with her black man servant stationed by her chair & "sonny" & the boy next oldest, with their nurse waiting on them - quite different from Mr Lincoln's style of the evening previous.
They remained here through the day & yesterday morning (Monday) Mr Lincoln took his departure for Washington & Mrs Lincoln for St Louis, where she has a sister residing. She joins Mr Lincoln today, at Indianapolis - There was an immense crowd at the depot to see him off & he made a brief pretty little parting speech. In case you may [illegible] [6] it, I will enclose it. Sam said that he was very much affected - could hardly command himself to speak. Mrs Dodge has been entertaining me with an account of Mr & Mrs Lincoln's courtship- Her family (who are very aristocratic, opposed the match & throughout all their difficulties, Mrs L made Mrs Dodge her confidante. So, of course, she has a great deal that is interesting to tell. Mr Douglas, by the way, wanted Mrs Lincoln at the same time Mr Lincoln did so it seems that they have been rival candidates for every thing. You ask how I like Mrs March? Very much- she does not "mount many guns," but is always pleasant & kind. We are almost constantly together & her being here has added very much to my pleasure - If we are obliged to make the [7] prairie our home, I am very glad to have made her acquaintance, as we are only sixteen miles apart & can, perhaps, see each other often. She talks a great deal about my visiting her & says if they return to Kankekee before Sam goes to Washington she shall insist on my going there during his absence. It is quite doubtful, however, if they do return, for if the doctor decides to go to Washington to the Inauguration, she will remain in Chicago until he gets back. I should have no hesitancy in accepting the invitation, as I would rather do anything in the world than stay alone on that prairie for tow or three weeks. I believe I should go crazy. Wouldn't it be splendid if I could only run home while Sam is away? [8] I would, if we could afford it, but, of course it is out of the question. Do you remember the Wilson's of Joliet, who I used to talk about? Mr Wilson died in Chicago very suddenly a few days ago. he died of disease of the heart- was sick but three days- his wife was fortunately with him - I hardly know how she will live through it, for they were perfectly devoted to each other. She seemed to worship him.
I have not been any where the past week - that is, to visit. We went one evening to a Panorama of Italy, which is quite fine & another evening to a lecture given by Bishop Simpson on Palestine - I enjoyed both very much - The gentlemen are almost always out at a caucus or committee meeting every night. So we cannot often command their services. We ladies generally pass our evenings together. [9] Lat evening they were all in my town. Mrs March comes in regularly every night after tea - when she hears Sam go, it is always a signal for her appearance. We brought our backgammon board with us, so when there is no other company present, we devote ourselves to that - but we rarely pass a whole evening alone - the other ladies, or some gentlemen are sure to make their appearance before the evening is over - Our room is quite popular.
I presume that long we this that [illegible] this Abby has returned form New York. Give my best- love to her & tell her I hope she will feel like writing me soon. What has become of Hope? She has not written me for an age. I shall [10] have to give her a scolding for such Laziness! Georgie has Mr Bradford to write to, so I dont expect her to be a very devoted correspondent. Tell Frank that I have not forgotten to answer his letter, but am only waiting until he returns to Cambridge, to do so - Is he enjoying his vacation?
And now, dear Julie, I thank you for answering my letter so promptly & only hope you will feel disposed to do the same by this - I am delighted to hear that you have taken up music again & whenever I get home once more, I shall expect to enjoy it very much. I imagine that by that time, I shall have forgotten all I ever knew. With oceans of love to Father, Mother, & each & all, believe me ever your aff
Sister Sadie
See More

People: Goodwin, Sadie, fl. 1861
Goodwin, Susie, fl. 1861
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Lincoln, Mary Todd, 1818-1882

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Woman AuthorWomen's HistoryPresidentChildren and FamilyPresidential Speeches and ProclamationsTravel

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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