APR 16 2020

Henry blamed himself. He was a trusted army officer. Trained. Tested. Proven. How then could he have let President Lincoln die mere feet away??
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His fiance Clara had worn a white dress the night of the assassination. A relic of a nightmare, caked with Henry’s blood. And yet, she held onto it. In fact, she even wore it again to pose for a photograph.?
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She took the dress with her to the family’s summer home in Albany. There it hung, in a closet, exactly 1 year after Lincoln’s demise. That night, she claimed, Clara awoke to gentle laughter. There sat the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, enjoying the play he never got to finish. ?
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“Must’ve been a dream,” family members assured her.?
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Yet 1 year later, a house guest in the very same room told the very same story.?
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Henry married Clara. Three children. Army retirement. Washington D.C. Nice home. ?
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Eager to leave the past in the past. But every April, reporters would hound them for anniversary memories of Lincoln’s death.?
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And it began. A mental health crisis.?
Henry’s decline was subtle at first. Heavy drinking. Reckless gambling. Mild paranoia. Clara tried to be sympathetic. She said:?
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“I understand his distress…we feel ourselves become objects of morbid scrutiny…
Henry…imagines that the whispering is more pointed and malicious than it can possibly be.”?
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But the paranoia got worse. Convinced she was cheating. Jealous of every man that paid attention to her. More jealous of the attention she paid to the children. Terrified she would take them and leave him.?
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His behavior became so erratic, Henry couldn’t hold a job. He spiralled into depression.?
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Summer vacation back in Albany. Convinced the white dress was haunted, Clara decided to finally deal with the morbid vestige. But instead of disposing of the dress, she entombed it. She built a brick wall to block the closet doorway, ensuring no one could disturb the dress. Hoping the dress would stop disturbing her. Longing to cure her disturbed husband.?
(To be continued…)?
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Ever keep something and wonder, “why did I hold onto this?”?
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Today’s cufflink is: RELICS.?
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P.S. Give us your theories. Why did she hang onto the dress?