Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To William Martin [1]

Dear Sir: Springfield, July 19--- 1851.

Yours of the 17th. is received, and I have just been to the Telegraph-office with it. The operator, after a long examination, declares that no such despach ever went from this office---at least, never in the months of February or March last. He then got up a correspondence with the operator at Alton, who, he says, tells him no such despach was ever, received there---that he has seen what purports to be the despach in the hands of you or your client, and that he will swear he never wrote it.

I do not see that I can do any more. Yours truly A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, owned by Kingman Brewster, Washington, D. C. On the verso Martin has noted: ``One to M[E]AGHER/ 25.th January 1851.'' Below this notation he has copied the following, presumably the telegram which Thomas Meagher had sent: ``To Michael McCormack/care of James Lamb./ Springfield Ill, 24 Jan 1851./ Your [horse?] is bad. Cannot/ work any longer He is sick/ dont want to keep him any/ longer/ Thos Meagher.'' As Lincoln's letter of July 26 (infra) indicates, he found the telegram to Meagher later, but could not identify the writer. James L. Lamb was a prominent merchant of Springfield. Thomas F. Meagher, the Irish patriot, seems an extremely unlikely candidate for the authorship of the telegram but he is the only Meagher mentioned in contemporary newspapers. Michael McCormack likewise has not been identified.