[LINCOLN, ABRAHAM, President, Second Inauguration]. PRENTISS, MARY Y. Autograph letter signed ("M.Y.P.") to an unidentified correspondent ("Dear Abba") Washington, D.C., 8 March 1865. 4 pages, 8vo, in pencil, a few lines written across onto page 1.
A WITNESS TO LINCOLN'S INAUGURATION, 4 MARCH 1865: "ALL THE SENATORS ARE MORE ANXIOUS TO HAVE MR. LINCOLN LIVE, THAN THEY EVER WERE BEFORE."
A delightfully ebullient leter of a young girl present at the festivities and balls connected with the inauguration of Lincoln on 4 March 1865; she intermingles her observations and gossip with banter about beaus and mutual friends. According to an old note Mary Prentiss was from Bangor Maine, and stayed in Washington as a guest of Senator S.C. Pomeroy, of Maine, who franked the envelope (no longer present). "Abba" was her sister, accoirding to the same note. "I am haveing [sic] a perfectly spendid time here. The ferry between here and Baltimore is frozen up so we can not get away from here just yet....Oh, Abba, I am having [sic] such fun! Saturday we went to the inauguration. Of course you have heard of the shocking condition that the vice president [Andrew Johnson] was in when he took the oath. He was too drunk to preside in the Senate, Monday or Tuesday. A gentleman that came to the inauguration in the car with Mr. Johnson said that Mr. J. kept his flask in his poket [sic] and drank oftn. All the senators are more anxious to have Mr. Lincon live than they ever were before. People say they wanted Lincon [sic] & Hamlin, but not Mrs. [Mary] Lincon [sic], and Johnson. Saturday night we dressed and went over to see the Presidents reception, but it was such a dread full jamb [sic] that we did not try to get in and see the President. Sunday I was sick all day...In the evening Major Dodge called. He is a cousin of the family....a youth that went to Europe when he was nine years old, and has been educated there. Everybody pronounces him the smartest young man they have ever seen. He can speak every language under the sun. I am dreadfully afraid he will find out how ignorant I am. He keeps putting in french phrases all the time. I dont understand half of them, though I make believe I understand them all....Mr. L[ombard] asked Emily to go to the inauguration ball with him, and Col. Smith asked me. We went and had a splendid time, did not get home till five in the morning....There is a home for colored women and children that Miss Searle is very much interested in, they are in great need of friends [donors] to keep it along. Mr. William...proposes that we each give to that institution as much money as we should pay for our board if we had been staying at Willards [the fashionable Washington hotel] all this time. All the company here assented....Senator Pomeroys house is at the corner of fifteenth and J streets...."