PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR
Certainly that is the case with the present letter. Mrs. Lincoln's grief here is not focused, as so often, on her martyred husband, but on her youngest son, Tad, who had died less than three months earlier, shortly after his eighteenth birthday. "Many thanks for your kind attention, regarding the Steamer. I feel that there is no end, to the trouble I give you, dear, dear friend. In consideration of the bad feeling in the South towards the North & the eve of a presidential election pending, with the name of Lincoln, I scarcely think it would be safe to venture. So for the present, I decline the trip. The truth I am so wretched in my mind, so utterly cast down by my fearful bereavement, I have not the energy left to do any thing. My friends have thought, change of scene might benefit, but it will only be the final & great change, that restores me to my idolised ones, that will ever cause me to be my self again.
"Just as I had in a measure returned to my natural cheerfulness with a worshipped son by my side, who could not bear me out of his sight when I was feeling that once more, I had something to live for, who was my pride, my fond delight, to have this precious one, snatched from my hands. I sometimes think that the glories of the Hereafter will scarcely compensate, for the sorrows of this life—yet I soften when I think of the blessed reunion."
Mrs. White was herself a widow who had lost several children. She offered Mary Lincoln critical support, both financial and spiritual.
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