Horace Greeley had atrocious handwriting. According to William Shepard Walsh’s Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities (1892), Greeley once sent the following note to the Iowa Press Association:

I have waited till longer waiting would be discourteous, only to find that I cannot attend your Press meeting next June as I would like to do. I find so many cares and duties pressing on me that, with the weight of years, I feel obliged to decline any invitation that takes me away a day’s journey from home.

After some study, the Iowans deciphered this as:

I have wondered all along whether any squirt had denied the scandal about the President meeting Jane in the woods on Saturday. I have hominy, carrots, and R.R. ties more than I could move with eight steers. If eels are blighted, dig them early. Any insinuation that brick ovens are dangerous to hams gives me the horrors.

Their reply is not recorded.

Now I don’t feel so bad.

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