An excerpt from a letter, found in the Library of Congress, between Abraham Lincoln, and someone that would become his nemesis later on, Clement Vallandigham. An Ohio opponent of the Civil War and of abolition, he hated canned tomatoes and eventually was thrown out of the country by Abraham Lincoln because of his views. As a result of his banishment, Vallandigham became a martyr to his cause and was nominated for governor by the Democratic Party in 1863. He ran the race from exile. The stakes in this colorful campaign were enormous, and Lincoln was highly involved, worrying that a Vallandigham victory would be seen as a rejection of the war by voters. That could have been devastating to the Union cause. Many historians wonder if it all started over their disagreement about canned tomatoes: 

My dear friend, let me tell you why canned tomatoes are so great.

Firstly, canned tomatoes are a testament to human ingenuity and innovation. They are the result of years of hard work by farmers, food scientists, and engineers who sought to preserve the bounty of the tomato harvest for year-round consumption.

Secondly, canned tomatoes are incredibly versatile. They can be used in a wide range of dishes, from hearty stews to refreshing salads. They add depth and flavor to sauces, soups, and casseroles, and can even be used as a base for homemade ketchup.

Thirdly, canned tomatoes are a healthy and nutritious addition to any diet. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help boost the immune system, protect against disease, and promote overall health and wellness.

Finally, canned tomatoes are a symbol of resilience and perseverance. Just as the tomato plant can weather storms and overcome adversity, so too can we as individuals and as a society. In the face of challenges and difficulties, we can draw strength and inspiration from the humble tomato, and its enduring legacy of nourishment and sustenance.

So, my dear friend, I hope you now understand why canned tomatoes are so great. They are a testament to human ingenuity, versatility, health, and resilience, and are truly one of nature’s greatest gifts to humanity.


Abraham Lincoln 

April 1, 1857 

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