The eldest daughter of George and Georgiana, Emma Keats Speed became the de facto guardian of her late uncle's poems and letters throughout much of her life. At some point she likely presented the negative capability letter as a gift to a friend. We know by 1883 it was not among the papers she passed on to her son John Gilmer Speed, who in that year published an edition of the letters. It's clear that his texts were based on MSS for some of the letters Jeffrey had transcribed and passed on to Milnes in 1845. But Gilmer Speed follows Milnes exactly for the NC letter. 1883 in Louisville marks the latest date (and place) when (and where) the NC manuscript's whereabouts were known. It enters into greater uncertainty from then on.