ALS, owned by Alfred W. Stern, Chicago, Illinois. On March 20, James H. Hackett sent Lincoln a copy of his recently published Notes and Comments upon Certain Plays and Actors of Shakespeare, with Criticisms and Correspondence (New York, 1863), accompanied by a letter reading in part as follows:
``Your Excellency favored me last Friday eveng. 13th inst. by a spontaneous visit to the Washington theatre to witness my personation of the Falstaff of King Henry IV, and I would respectfully ask your acceptance of a volume which I have recently published and the concluding portion of which refers particularly to the remarkable points of that renowned character . . . .
``I . . . venture to hope that at your . . . leisure you may find therein some agreeable relaxation from your cares of State. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).
Upon receiving Lincoln's letter, Hackett issued a broadside printing entitled ``A Letter from President Lincoln to Mr. Hackett,'' which bore the notice ``Printed not for publication but for private distribution only, and its convenient perusal by personal friends.'' Seized upon by political enemies, the letter thus distributed was soon carried in the newspapers with sarcastic comments on the president's lack of critical sense. For Hackett's apology, see note to Lincoln's letter of November 2, infra.
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