The Affidavit


  Springfield, Feb. 1, 1929

  My dear Sir,  

Your very welcome & agreeable letter of the 3rd of Dec. has just been received. Only now, can I show you, the 1929 notarized document that was affixed to the back, of the painting. The document is damaged, but readable. I know you have never seen this before. Your mission is to fill in the missing letters.

Say nothing, of what I have written you--to any one. (24)


The Affidavit







Chicago, Illinois

Dear Mrs. Lincoln,


We see verso documentation all the time at the Art Institute. I now know more about the painting's history. It having been offered as a gift for kind services lends a sad but uplifting layer to its provenance.

As you requested, I have worked on the affidavit's missing letters. This was fairly easy except for two areas. The first was at the end of the first sentence:



As you can see, there is a period before "Jacob G. Neafie." I worked on this for some time before realizing that the period connects to the honorific, "Mrs." By copying this word from the affidavit's second line, I was able to place it accordingly, as if it had been typed on the original typewriter.

The only clue I had for the word following "the" was a three-pointed missing letter. After looking through the entire document, I came upon the solution, for there is only one capital letter that perfectly overlapped with the extant points, "L". Once inserted, the remaining area was large enough to accommodate three letters and a space. The solution that would retain the proper context was "ate." The full word referenced the passing of Mrs. Neafie.


  The second problem area was more difficult.  

  I first finished the "n" in "Lincoln." The word describing "party" had two visible letters, "l" and "e," one circular partial letter, and two very small upper dots to its left, suggesting a six-letter word. There are only four circular letters, "p," "b," "d," and "o." The "d" was ruled out for it would have crowded the visible "l". Using a present-day machine, I assembled all six-letter words that ended in "-ple," "-ble," and "-ole." The answer was all too simple. In fact, the only word that made sense within the context of a small gathering--and which incorporated the two dots--was the word "simple." Once inserted, the remaining letters fell into place:  


With these areas solved, the full document now reads smoothly. Please review the material carefully as I send it for your approval.


Barry Bauman

P.S.--Today is my birthday.


The Affidavit

 Page 7



Page 1--Editors' Introduction

Page 2--You Must Not Fail Me

Page 3--An Artistic Conspiracy

Page 4--Principal Conspirator

Page 5--Co-Conspirator

Page 6--The Affidavit

Page 7--Unknowing Participants

Page 8--Accessories A, B, C, D

Page 9--Springfield

Page 10--Cleaning

Page 11--All That is Excellent

Page 12--Smoking Gun

Page 13--Judgment

Page 14--App./Acknowledgments



24. Your very welcome...received. Turner. p. 701. Letter to Edward Lewis Baker, Jr. 8/29/1880. Say any one. Turner. p. 383. Letter to Alexander Williamson. 8/19/1866.




Barry Bauman Conservation
Contact: Mr. Barry Bauman
1122 N. Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL. 60305
Ph.(708)771-0382  Fax.(708)771-1532