I enclose you copies of all the letters of any interest from Mr. Lincoln to me. Some explanation may be needed that you may rightly understand their import. In the winter of 1840 and 1841, he was unhappy about his engagement to his wifenot being entirely satisfied that his heart was going with his hand. How much he suffered then on that account none knew so well as myself; he disclosed his whole heart to me.1 In the summer of 1841 I became engaged to my wife. He was here on a visit when I courted her; and, strange to say, something of the same feeling which I regarded as so foolish in him took possession of me and kept me very unhappy from the time of my engagement until I was married. This will explain the deep interest he manifested in his letters on my account. One thing is plainly descernible; if I had not been married and happy — far more happy than I ever expected to be — he would not have married.The first of these letters is one which he gave
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1 Lincoln wrote a letter — a long one which he read to me — to Dr. Drake of Cincinnati, descriptive of his case. Its date would be in December, 1840, or early in January, 1841. I think that he must have informed Dr. Drake of his early love for Miss Rutledge, as there was a part of the letter which he would not read. . . I remember Dr. Drake's reply, which was, that he would not undertake to prescribe for him without a personal interview. -Joshua F. Speed, Ms letter, November 30, 1866.
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