Skip to main content

ISGS EXCLUSIVE: How Lincoln Saved Her Husband- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to Accept Donation of a Speech Lost for a Century

For more than 100 years, it lay forgotten in a box of family photos and papers. Now, it belongs to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The document is a transcript of Martha Ten Eyck's speech in 1912, recalling how she begged Lincoln for his help nearly 50 years before, in 1864, to get her husband released from Confederate captivity.

It worked. Her husband, Union Capt. Tenodor Ten Eyck, was released in the autumn of 1864. Five months later, Tenodor Ten Eyck was one of the honor guard at the assassinated president's bier in Columbus, Ohio.

On Wednesday August 21st, 2019, Ellen Peirce, Martha Ten Eyck's third great-niece, presented the original transcript of the speech, found in a family "box of stuff," to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. ISGS President Laura Kovarik and ISGS Quarterly Editor Richard Anderson also attended the presentation ceremony in Springfield.

ISGS published Martha Ten Eyck's speech, and her family story, written by Ellen Peirce, in the Summer 2019 volume of the ISGS Quarterly. We are happy to present those stories here for everyone to enjoy!

To read Ellen's story of discovering her third great-aunt's Lincoln speech, and to learn more about Martha Hascall Ten Eyck, click here!

To view the original transcript of Martha Ten Eyck's speech, click here!

Author Ellen Peirce and Ian Patrick Hunt, head of acquisitions at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, with the speech.

This issue, along with previous issues of the ISGS Quarterly, can be purchased on the ISGS website Online Store.

© 2019, copyright Illinois State Genealogical Society