Continued from here.
Sept. 27, 1841 – To Mary Speed (pp 260-261). In this letter Lincoln famously recounts a river boat trip on which he and best bud Joshua Speed observed a dozen recently purchased slaves, “strung together precisely like so many fish upon a trot-line.” But he also mentions an “Aunt Emma”, who the editors identify in footnote #8 as Emma Keats, wife of Joshua Speed’s brother Philip and the sister of the English poet John Keats. This site, however, identifies Emma as Keats’ niece (see 85). Then Lincoln refers to a Mrs. Peay, and in footnote #9 the editors explain that this is Mrs. Peachy Walker Speed Peay, another of Joshua’s sisters and the wife of Austin Peay. According to this site, early 20th century Tennessee Governor Austin Peay was a Kentuckian for whom what is now Austin Peay State University (alma mater of the great “Fly” Williams) was named. His father is listed as a Confederate cavalryman, also named Austin Peay, but with wife Cornelia. It seems likely that Peachy’s Austin is some sort of precursor to the Governor, but I’m not sure how. I just think it’s cool that her name was Peachy Peay. Austin and Peachy would take over Farmington, the Speed family’s Kentucky mariju…er, hemp plantation after the death of the pater familia.
Aug. 7, 1844 – Resolutions Adopted by Springfield Clay Club on the Death of John Brodie (p 341). “Whereas, we the Springfield Clay Club, impelled by a profound respect for the character of our late and lamented friend, JOHN BRODIE, and by the peculiarly afflictive manner of his death, are desirous of expressing in some appropriate way our deep and lasting regard for his memory:” In a footnote we learn that “Brodie was killed on August 3 when struck by the fall of a derrick with which a Liberty Pole was being raised for the Whig rally scheduled on that day. The Whig Liberty Pole, 214 feet 6 inches high, was erected on August 23.”
Feb. 12, 1845 – Recommendation for Admittance of Stanislaus P. Lalumiere to the Practice of Law (pp 343-344). In a footnote, we learn that “[f]ollowing a term as clerk of the United States Court in Springfield, Lalumiere went to St. Louis, Missouri, to take a similar position. While there he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus, and upon being ordained priest in 1857, was sent to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he later founded Marquette University” (alma mater of the great Butch Lee).
Jun. 2, 1848 – To William H. Herndon (pp 490-492). Here Lincoln’s temper bursts forth from the paper. “You ask me to send you all the speeches made about ‘Old Zach[ary Taylor]’ the war &c. &c. Now this makes me a little impatient. I have regularly sent you the Congressional Globe and Appendix, and you can not have examined them, or you would have discovered that they contain every speech made by every man, in both Houses of Congress, on every subject, during this session. Can I send any more? Can I send speeches that nobody has made? Thinking it would be most natural that the newspapers would feel interested to give at least some of the speeches to their readers, I, at the beginning of the session made arrangement to have one copy of the Globe and Appendix regularly sent to each whig paper in our district. And yet, with the exception of my own little speech, which was published in two only of the then five, now four whig papers, I do not remember having seen a single speech, or even an extract from one, in any single one of those papers. With equal and full means on both sides, I will venture that the State Register has thrown before it’s readers more of Locofoco speeches in a month, than all the whig papers of the district, have done of whig speeches during the session.” Old Abe was honestly pissed at Billy. It was at this time Lincoln and the Whigs were pushing Zachary Taylor for president. Despite the fact that Lincoln appeared to favor his hero Clay as the better man, it was party and power first – he was certain Taylor was more electable, and he was right.
Jul. 2, 1848 – To Mary Todd Lincoln (pp494-496). We’ll end with this one. “The music in the Capitol grounds on saturdays, or, rather, the interest in it, is dwindling down to nothing. Yesterday evening the attendance was rather thin. Our two girls, whom you remember seeing first at Carusis, at the exhibition of the Ethiopian Serenaders, and whose peculiarities were the wearing of black fur bonnets, and never being seen in close company with other ladies, were at the music yesterday. One of them was attended by their brother, and the other had a member of Congress in tow. He went home with her; and if I were to guess, I would say, he went away a somewhat altered man—most likely in his pockets, and in some other particular. The fellow looked conscious of guilt, although I believe he was unconscious that every body around knew who it was that had caught him.”