The Bixby letter is one of the most famous letters sent by Abraham Lincoln. It’s a brief letter of consolation sent from the President to Lydia Parker Bixby, a widow who lost five sons in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
The letter reads as a personal condolence to Lydia, and has been praised as some of Lincoln’s finest work. However new analysis has found that the letter probably wasn’t written by Lincoln at all.
Using the same technique that outed JK Rowling as the author of the Robert Galbraith novels, and identified the creator of Bitcoin, researchers say that they have solved the mystery of who wrote the letter.
A team from the Center for Forensic Linguistics at Aston University think they can prove the letter was in fact written by Lincoln’s secretary, John Hay. They conclude that the letter almost certainly wasn’t authored by Lincoln, despite the original letter being lost and unavailable for analysis.