Unknowing Participants


  Springfield, Feb. 13, 1929

  My dear Mr. Bauman,  

It is impossible for me to express to you, the great pleasure your letter of the 9th of April, afforded me in this land so far removed from you, my heart and my thoughts revert continually to your little circle. I send you belated birthday wishes. (As you know, April 9th is also the anniversary of the signing of the articles of surrender at Appomattox.) How much I regret to say to you that I am suffering for the last two days with a severe headache, which the doctor tells me may settle in my head if I do not remain very quiet.

The plot is thickening quickly, and now, involves an unknowing participant. It appears as if the fiends have let loose. In yesterday's New York Times, their villanous aspersions, were unleashed. I send the vile falsehoods herewith. As you will see, this article became a mutating journalistic meme through time.



February 12, 1929
  Was there ever such cruel newspaper abuse lavished upon an unoffending woman as has been showered on my head? The conduct in New York is disgusting me with the whole business. Write immediately. (25)  

I remain very truly



Editors' Note:

The information for the above article is based on Lew Bloom's affidavit information. Our father stapled the below 1965 letter to this one. We could find no reply to the above.



Springfield, May 20th, 1965

  My dear Mr. Bauman,  
  I am writing this morning with a broken heart after a sleepless night of great mental suffering. The same evil spirit, that originated the New York rumor, is evidently again at work, and in the most malignant form too...and is without doubt, just now being republished--with such eagerness in our public journals. From today's Chicago paper, I have clipped another interesting editorial, such articles injure those from whom they emanate, far more than myself....It is very painful for me to be treated in this manner. The conspiracy grows. (26)  


May 16, 1965
  What freedom & insolence there is, in our American Press--I have always known what villanous & malignant falsehoods that "Tribune" article contained....Ignorance of their lying malice is best for me. When will their vile fabrications cease. I am sufficiently agitated already without reading such vile & wicked trash....I think myself that the most dignified course would be, by our friends, not to notice any article against me. But, alas, there are other unknowing participants. (27)  

National Geographic
May 1965

Mary Lincoln "Wife and Widow"
by Carl Sandburg. Frontis Page.

I tremble when my name is coupled with persons--whom I have never seen or never expect to do so--may not entirely ruin my prospects of any future comfort--for believe me--at present--I am in the most trying & humiliating position--which you will eventually fully know.

In grief, words are a poor consolation--silence and agonizing tears are all, that is left the sufferer. I could not be more traduced. Time brings to me, as yet, no healing on its wing and I shall be only too glad, when my mission which I know is completed. When you receive this letter, I hope you will at once write me. (28)


Mrs. A. Lincoln


Editors' Note:

There are two errors in the 1965 Chicago Tribune article. The image was not "published here for the first time." It was first published in the 1929 New York Times article. Secondly, Jacob G. Neafie did not die in 1884; he died in 1898. As recorded in The Affidavit, it was the "Late Mrs. Jacob G. Neafie" who died in 1884.






Chicago, Illinois

Dear Mrs. Lincoln,


These "participants," as you call them, are all publishing the same wonderful portrait of you. And the fact that you wanted to make it a gift to the President is even more commendable.

Something occurred yesterday that I ordinarily would not have given a second thought to, but, under the circumstances, I find the coincidence to be suspicious. My boss is currently working on a portrait for the Illinois State Historical Library: the painting is a portrait of you. It is similarly signed, "F. B. Carpenter 1864." While the composition matches the image you sent me, the face and most of the details are different. Is there something you would like to tell me?

With best regards,

Barry Bauman



Editors' Note:

Attached at a later date to this 1977 letter was the below book cover and caption.


"Mary, Wife of Lincoln" by Katherine Helm.
Cover. 3rd Edition. 2001.

Editors' Note:

The cover's caption has two errors. The portrait is dated 1864, not 1865. Lincoln was assassinated in April of 1865; therefore, the painting was completed before Lincoln's assassination, not after. The above image of Mary Lincoln was also reproduced in Gerry Van der Heuvel's Crowns of Thorns and Glory, E. P. Dutton Press, 1988.


 Page 8



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



25. It is impossible...circle. Turner. p. 682. Letter to Edward Lewis Baker, Jr. 6/22/1879. How much I regret...very quiet. Pritchard. p. 26. Letter to Myra Bradwell. 1/26/1873. It appears...let loose. Turner. p. 441. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 10/9/1867. In yesterday's...aspersions. Turner. p. 180. Letter to Abram Wakeman. 9/23/1864. Was there ever...my head? Turner. p. 442. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 10/13/1867. The conduct...whole business. Turner. p. 442. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 10/13/1867.

26. I am writing...mental suffering. Turner. p. 440. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 10/6/1867. The same evil spirit...public journals. Turner. p. 535. Letter to Sally Orne. 12/16/1869. From today's...in this manner. Turner. p. 448. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 11/2/1867.

27. What freedom...best for me. Turner. p. 551. Letter to Sally Orne. 2/18/1870. When will...cease. Turner. p. 181. Letter to Abram Wakeman. 9/23/1864. I am sufficiently...against me. Turner. p. 537. Letter to Sally Orne. 12/21/1869.

28. I tremble...humiliating position. Turner. p. 535. Letter to Sally Orne. 12/16/1869. In grief...the sufferer. Turner. p. 626. Letter to Elizabeth Todd Edwards. 3/19/1877. I could not be more traduced. Turner. p. 441. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 10/9/1867. Time brings...is completed. Turner. p. 502. Letter to Eliza Slataper. 2/17/1869. When you receive...write me. Turner. p. 691. Letter to Edward Lewis Baker, Jr. 10/4/1879.




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