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Politics: A Letter from Joanna

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

The following is a letter from Joanna Lane to Alexander McClure, September 16, 1891. The letter was published in A.K. McClure, Abraham Lincoln and Men of Wartimes, 1892, pp. 30-1.

This is election week in the United States, and as such we want to pay tribute to another time in United States history when people were vying for the candidates they believed in. In this case, the Lanes stood firmly behind Abraham Lincoln who they had the utmost confidence in as a presidential candidate. You can see Joanna's pride shine through in how she so eloquently describes her husband's support of Lincoln, undimmed by more than a decade since Henry's passing.

“I read with greatest interest your excellent article in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, giving a history of the convention which nominated Lincoln. I thank you for the kindly mention of Mr. Lane’s name in that memorable convention. So many versions of the same have been given the public (with many mistakes) that I was glad to see a true one published to vindicate the truth of history.

“I was with my husband in Chicago, and may tell you now, as most of the actors have ‘joined the silent majority’, what no living person knows, that Thurlow Weed, in his anxiety for the success of Seward, took Mr. Lane out one evening and pleaded with him to lead the Indiana delegation over to Seward, saying they would send enough money from New York to ensure his election for Governor, and carry the state later for the New York candidate.

“His proposal was indignantly rejected, as there was neither money nor influence enough in their State to change my husband’s opinion in regard to the fitness and ability of Mr. Lincoln for the nomination, and with zeal and energy he worked faithfully for his election, remained his firm friend through his administration till the end came and death crystallized his fame.

With sincere thanks, respectfully

Joanna Lane

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