A Wish to Remain Anonymous

Lincoln seems to have been under no illusions about the literary merit of his poetry, telling Johnston in this letter, “I am not at all displeased with your proposal to publish the poetry, or doggerel, or whatever else it may be called, which I sent you. I consent that it may be done . . . but let names be suppressed by all means. I have not sufficient hope of the verses attracting any favorable notice to tempt me to risk being ridiculed for having written them.” Johnston duly published anonymously Lincoln’s most serious poetic effort, “My Childhood Home I See Again” (shown alongside) in the Quincy Whig on 5 May 1847.