LINCOLN LETTERS EXPOSED TO LIGHT OF NEW ANALYSIS
Copyright 1929 by The Harvard Crimson
That the Lincoln documents from the collection of Wilma Frances Minor, published in facsimile in the recent issues of the Atlantic Monthly, purporting to be the hand of Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, Sarah Colhoun, and Matilda Cameron, were all penned by the same author, is the hypothesis suggested by Maurice H. Hilton 1G, as the result of a searching graphological investigation. That this hand is revealed in a letter signed "W. F. Minor" is further suggested by the comparison and analysis of the hand writing exhibited in all the letters.
Leaving the question of the authenticity of the Lincoln manuscript entirely out of consideration for the moment, the analysis goes into the fundamental characteristics exhibiting a remarkable likeness in each of the documents published in the Atlantic. The striking hypothesis completely undermines the already precarious position in which the alleged historical documents have been placed by prominent Western authorities among whom are Paul W. Angle, and Logan Hay of the Lincoln Centennial Association, Oliver R. Barrett of Chicago, Louis A. Warren, director of the Illinois Lincoln Foundation and N. Worthington C. Ford Hon. '07, secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Harvard lecturer on historical documents.
Carrying research into mathematical computations of forty-two digits, the analysis finds little possibility of more than one hand having penned the various letters. And upon the investigation of a succeeding letter signed "W. F. Minor", fundamental characteristics identical with those exhibited in the professed Lincoln letters obviously indicate the supposition that the Atlant-
If the letters were the fabrication of these two young women, Sarah Morrison, the sister of Margaret, must have realized that they were spurious, because she could not help knowing the non-existence of Sally Calhoun and Matilda Cameron. Sarah Morrison, therefore, would hardly have allowed her husband, Frederick Hirth, the Union soldier, when the two friends, as alleged, gave him the documents, to accept them as genuine. Neither would she, after her husband's death, have thought them worth treasuring until her own death, nor would she have had any interest in passing them on her niece, the mother of Miss Minor, as genuine documents. Therefore, unless the earlier existence of the documents can be clearly proved, the only two people whom we need consider as their source are Miss Minor's mother and Miss Minor herself.
Mr. Sedgwick, if he has not yet discovered the individual author of the documents, must be convinced that their authorship rests between the mother and the daughter, and must be sheltering both from the family disgrace that would follow upon the revelation of the truth. But, regardless of the loss to his own reputation for discernment, has Mr. Sedgwick the right to maintain this attitude of chivalrous protection in a historic matter of such profound national interest