Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: The "Rebecca Letters"
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In 1942 there appeared in the Sangamo Journal a series of four letters, the "Rebecca Letters".

These letters were a satirical, insulting, somewhat anonymous letters signed "Rebecca"
The letters attacked a proclamation published and signed by the Governor, State Trasurer and Auditor James Shields.
With Shields becoming the focus of the letters.

These letters were the foundation of a challenge resulting in a duel between James Shields and Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln scholars over the years have disagreed regarding Lincoln's involvement in the letters. Did he write all of them, only one or two, or none at all.
And what about the duel. There were several different versions of what happened. Except for the accounts published in the Sangamo Journal by Dr. Merryman (Lincoln's friend) and General Whiteside (James Shield's friend), there is no real evidence of what took place. And these two gentlemen were not the most reliable reporters.

This article from "Lincoln Lore" dated September 21, 1842 fills in some of the details. https://www.friendsofthelincolncollectio...-21_01.pdf

The last sentence of the article adds further speculation to contributing factors of this story.
What part did Mary Lincoln play in this drama?

Your thoughts?
I have read Lincoln was quite embarrassed by the duel situation, and he asked Mary never to speak of it in the future.
In my view, Lincoln was forced to fall on his "sword" to protect Mary.
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