Document Of The Day


Ed Pilkington tells the story:

George Patten, aged eight, [...] boasted at school about having met Abraham Lincoln, having been introduced to the then presidential candidate with his journalist father. The boy's friends thought he had made the story up, and bullied him. To settle the matter, Patten's teacher wrote to the White House asking for clarification about whether there was any truth to the anecdote. On 19 March 1861, two weeks after his inauguration and despite being preoccupied with forming an administration and the early slide into civil war, Lincoln took the trouble to reply: "To whom it may concern: I did see and talk with Master George Evans Patten, last May, at Springfield, Illinois. Respectfully, A. Lincoln."