* Note that the playback function may entail lengthy delays where the writer cogitated. We do try to jump to the point at which composing began, but there is the occasional writer who types a letter and then stops for five minutes. Hang in there.
We asked Julianna Baggott to write on the following:
It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in thick and fast all day and there had been a great "Hurrah, boys," so that I was well tired out, and went home to rest, throwing myself down on a lounge in my chamber. Opposite where I lay was a bureau with a swinging glass upon it ... and looking in that glass I saw myself reflected nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed had two separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps startled, and got up and looked in the glass, but the illusion vanished. On lying down again, I saw it a second time, plainer, if possible, than before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler -- say five shades -- than the other. I got up, and the thing melted away, and I went off, and in the excitement of the hour forgot all about it -- nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang as if something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home again that night I told my wife about it, and a few days afterward I made the experiment again, when (with a laugh), sure enough! the thing came back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was somewhat worried about it. She thought it was a "sign" that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term.
-- Abraham Lincoln, as quoted by Noah Brooks, Washington in Lincoln's Time