AD, DLC. The date of this manuscript is uncertain. The editors have dated it the day following Lincoln's letter (supra) to Andrew Johnston because in that letter Lincoln specifies that the poem is ``almost done.'' The first ten stanzas, with some minor corrections or variations, were enclosed in the letter to Johnston, April 18, 1846 (infra), and the remainder, excepting the last two, but including an additional stanza, were sent to Johnston in a letter of September 6, 1846 (infra). Since Lincoln refers in his letter of April 18 to the poem's having four cantos, it seems obvious that this manuscript is incomplete. It is possible that ``The Bear Hunt,'' mentioned in the letter of September 6, 1846, and hence printed under that date, may be one of the cantos. But this accounts for only three of the four cantos mentioned by Lincoln. Possibly Lincoln did not complete the poem as planned, or the manuscript may not have been preserved in its entirety.
[ return to text ]