To Bayard Taylor 
My dear Sir: Washington, Dec. 25. 1863.
I think a good lecture or two on ``Serfs, Serfdom, and Emancipation in Russia → '' would be both interesting and valuable. Could not you get up such a thing? Yours truly A. LINCOLN.
 ALS, OClWHi. Recently returned from his post as secretary of legation at St. Petersburg, Bayard Taylor replied on December 28:
``I have just received your Christmas suggestion, and with all the more pleasure because I think quite as you do with regard to the interest and importance of the subject you propose. I intended, at first, to devote a part of my present lecture to Russian serfdom and its abolishment, but found that it would make my discourse altogether too long. I therefore decided to give, first of all, a general account of ← Russia → and the people, concerning which I had many things to say which are not only new to our people, but advantageous for them to know. My own short experience has satisfied me that no country (except, perhaps, our own) has been as misrepresented as ← Russia → .
``It is rather late, this winter, to prepare a new lecture, especially as I have engaged to deliver that on `← Russia → and Her People' in some thirty different cities; but I fully understand the interest of the subject you propose, and desire to present it, in some way, to the public. There are only slight resemblances between Russian serfdom and slavery in the southern states, although they rest on the same basis---property in Man---but the complete success of the scheme of emancipation in ← Russia has much significance for this nation at the present time.
``I am very much gratified by the manifestation of your personal interest in the subject, and hope that I may be able to contribute, though so indirectly, to the growth of truer and more enlightened views among the people. . . .'' (DLC-RTL).