When he was a young man in his 30’s, Dr. Wilber Thomas Dayton Jr ran across a letter from Abraham Lincoln in his grandmother’s trunk. His grandma, Anna Flansburg White Dingman, was the daughter of Rev. William Flansburg, a Wesleyan Methodist clergyman who began his ministry in 1849. His newly formed denomination had split from the Methodist Episcopal Church over the issue of slavery. Flansburg’s new denomination was abolitionist.
Much to Dr. Dayton’s delight, the letter was addressed to Rev. Flansburg, his great grandfather. In it, President Lincoln stated, “you keep preaching it from the pulpit and I’ll preach it from the White House.” Imagine the historical significance of such a document.
Wilber told me that he never saw the letter again. He did not know whatever happened to the trunk. I have pursued the case, but the relatives who would know anything about it have died.
Does anyone have any knowledge of this letter?