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TBT: Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Costa Rica

October 24, 2019

We take a look back at a piece of Costa Rica history in another installment of  Throwback Thursday (TBT).

This week, let’s go all the way back to June 11, 1863. Thanksgiving Day was not yet a holiday in the United States, the U.S. Civil War was raging and Mary Ford was eight months pregnant with a son, Henry, who would later revolutionize the automobile industry.

On that day, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln authored the above letter to Jesús Jiménez Zamora, the newly — and democratically — elected President of Costa Rica.

“I pray your Excellency to accept the assurances of my earnest wishes for your personal happiness and for the prosperity of Costa Rica,” Lincoln wrote.

The full letter is available here through the U.S. National Archives Catalog.

President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address five months later, and he was assassinated in April 1865.

After his first term ended, President Jimenez re-took office in an 1868 coup d’état. He is best remembered in Costa Rica for declaring education for both sexes compulsory in April 1869.

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