Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 6.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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To Fanny McCullough [1]

Executive Mansion,
Dear Fanny Washington, December 23, 1862.

It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned toPage  17 ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer, and holier sort than you have known before.

Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother.

Your sincere friend A. LINCOLN.

Miss. Fanny McCullough.


[1]   ALS, owned by Miss Alice Orme Smith, Fairfield, Connecticut. Fanny's father, Lieutenant Colonel William McCullough of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry was killed in a night battle near Coffeeville, Mississippi, on December 5. As clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court at Bloomington, McCullough had been well known to Lincoln.

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