Bulletin. [Vol. 45, no. 1]
Abraham Lincoln Association (Springfield, Ill.), Angle, Paul M. ed. (Paul McClelland), 1900-1975., Thomas, Benjamin Platt, ed. 1902-1956., Pratt, Harry E. (Harry Edward), 1901-1956., Bunn, George Wallace, ed.

Page  1 DECEMBER, 1936 Bulletin of the liffo cia/utzoom/ Bulletin No. 45 Springfield, Illinois Bulletin No. 45 Springfield, Illinois

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Page  3 BULLETIN ofte cJralaYmlictoatzw A Jrocial on Bulletin No. 45 SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS December, 1P36 Administration of Estate of Abraham Lincoln By H. E. PRATT ARLY in April, 1865, Mr. Justice David Davis * of the United States Supreme Court left his home in Bloomington, Illinois, for Chicago to sit with District Judge Thomas Drummond on the bench of the United States District Court. Circuit duties were then a function of each justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Court had not opened on the morning of Saturday, April 15th, when news of the death of President Lincoln flashed over the city. Business was suspended, political differences laid aside, all protests forgotten and an atmosphere of grief en*David Davis was born in Cecil County, Maryland, March 9, 1815. He graduated from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, in I832, and for the next three years studied law in Lenox, Massachusetts, and then spent one year in the Yale Law School. He settled at Bloomington, Illinois in 1836 and practised law until 1848 when he was elected Judge of the Eighth Judicial District. On this Circuit until 186o his contacts with Mr. Lincoln were very close. His leadership of the Illinois Republican forces at the Chicago convention of i86o was an important factor in the nomination of Mr. Lincoln for the presidency. In 1862 President Lincoln appointed him Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He resigned from the Court in 1877 to serve a term in the United States Senate. He died at Bloomington in 1886. veloped the city. Lincoln the man, alone was remembered, as mourners filled the Federal building. The court called to order, Justice Davis arose, his massive countenance portraying his great personal loss. "This nation," he said, "is stricken by a great calamity and a great sorrow. My sorrow is a double one. I sorrow, not only as a citizen of the United States, but as a personal and devoted friend of the President. "The President of the United States has been murdered. Atrocious crimes, with few parallels in history have been committed. Let us take a day for reflection and meet on Monday and give public expression to our feelings and duties." At noon came a telegram from Robert Lincoln: "Please come at once to Washington to take charge of my father's affairs. Answer." In response to this urgent request Davis set out immediately for Washington, where he found Mrs. Lincoln prostrated with grief.

Page  4 4 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association The Judge did not accompany the body of Mr. Lincoln on its long journey to Springfield. Stricken by the death of his friend, he wrote on April 24th to his brother-in-law, Judge Julius Rockwell, who had served in Congress with Mr. Lincoln and had signed Robert's bond when he entered Harvard College: "The terrible crimes which have saddened the country as the country was never saddened before, and the length and breadth of which cannot now be told, brought me here. I should have come, anyhow, but Lincoln's son telegraphed me to come on and take care of his private affairs. "I could not avoid the responsibility and care. I went on with the remains to Baltimore, Saturday, and have been busy getting his papers ready to take to Illinois. They will be ready today, I hope, and I will return direct to Chicago tomorrow. I am tired, very tired and worn out with excitement, and want to get with my loved ones for a day. I shall accompany the remains from Chicago to Springfield." A week later he wrote: "I got home Thursday and came here [Chicago] yesterday to attend Mr. Lincoln's remains to Springfield. Shall go with a committee of Ioo to Michigan City tomorrow to meet them. It is raining and has been for ten days. I fear that tomorrow will be rainy. If it is clear, it is estimated that 300,000 people will be here. I cannot be reconciled to Mr. Lincoln's death and the manner of it." Judge Davis, upon examination in Washington, found the financial affairs of Mr. Lincoln in good shape. Checking over the President's personal papers and his bank accounts at Riggs & Co. and the First National Bank in Washington, he was able to estimate the estate very closely. He brought to Springfield the President's last four salary warrants, uncashed in the amounts of $1,981.67, $1,981.67, $1,976.22, and $1,981.67. He also brought an uncashed draft for $133.00oo from the President's last law partner, William H. Herndon. The source of the $133.oo in the uncashed draft is explained in Mr. Herndon's letter which follows: Springfield Ill. Feby. I Ith 1865 His Exc. A. Lincoln Dear Friend Enclosed is draft for one hundred & thirty three dolls. in your favor. It comes this way-I have collected 4 I Gold Watch Shockly-Log Co. Chatterton Corn & Co. Wilson-Ohio Hinman-Criminal Cost-Fedrl Court fees 2/ $75.00 45.00 25.00 35.00 25.00 41.00oo 25.00 $271.00 I Paid Enos-Clk $25.00 half yours Borrowed of you at Washington Draft $135.00 12.50 $123.00 25.00 $148.00 133.00 $15.00 I owe you fifteen dollars and will send it to you sometime. I kept, rather, gave away the watch to my girl, thinking it worth seventy-five dollars, doing you justice, I think. The reason why I do not send the fifteen dollars now is because I made a mistake in my calculations & bought the bill with that error out of view.... I am toddling on tolerably well, just making ends meet, but that is enough for me or any man in this world at this time. 6

Page  5 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association 5 d Above all I am a sober man, and will keep so the balance of my days. Your friend W. H. HERNDON No will of the President being found, Mrs. Lincoln and her son Robert addressed a letter to the Judge of the County Court of Sangamon County (Judge N. M. Broadwell), asking that Letters of Administration be granted to David Davis. On June 14th, 1865, Judge Davis in the Sangamon County Court made affidavit of the "decease of Abraham Lincoln on or about the 14th day of April, A.D. 1865, Intestate as it is said and that his Estate will probably amount to the sum of $85,000; that said Abraham Lincoln left at the time of his decease, Mary Lincoln his widow, and Robert T. Lincoln and Thomas Lincoln his children." Letters of administration were granted to Judge Davis on June 16 and he immediately took the oath to "well and truly administer" the estate, and signed an administrator's bond for the amount of $60o,0oo with John T. Stuart, Lincoln's first law partner, as surety. The Herndon draft and the uncashed salary warrants were deposited in the Springfield Marine Bank to the account of David Davis Administrator. Mr. Lincoln had carried an account in the Marine Bank from 1853 to the time of his death. On leaving Springfield in February I861, Mr. Lincoln left notes due him totaling $9,337.90, a Springfield City Bond for $666.67, and a cash deposit of $6oo in the hands of Robert Irwin, Secretary of the Marine Bank. Payment on these notes with interest had increased the deposit to $4,548.69. The remainder of the notes were sold to the bank by Judge Davis for $4,500. These items brought the bank deposit up to $17,098.64 on June 16, I865. Four days later Davis directed the Marine Bank to purchase $17,000 worth of United States Seven-thirty bonds of 1865. These bonds were purchased slightly under par, costing the Estate $16,915.00. Upon his return to Washington in July I865, Judge Davis received from Mr. Harrington of the Treasury Department $49,000 in United States Government bonds of the July I86i issue, payable twenty years from date. Mr. Lincoln also owned $8,000 in "Five-twenties of 1862." This bond issue of February 25, 1862, bearing six per cent interest was redeemable after five and payable twenty years from date. The interest on the bonds was payable semi-annually in gold. Justice Davis also received a certificate of temporary loan for $2,781.04 at six per cent payable in currency. Mr. Lincoln had on deposit in Washington at Riggs and Company $I,373-53 and $381.66 in the First National Bank. Thus there was turned over to the administrator in Washington a total of $61,536.23 in bonds and cash. This amount added to the deposit in the Marine Bank made a total of $78,634.87 in bonds and cash belonging to the estate. Judge Davis opened an account as Administrator with the First National Bank in Washington, on July 25, 1865. The semi-annual interest payment, $1,710 in gold, on the $57,000 of 6% bonds, was sold at 143%, netting the estate $2,445.30. This amount with the $1,373.35 transferred from Riggs and Company to the First National

Page  6 6 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association with the $381.66 on deposit there, a total of $4,200.49, was invested at par in $4,200 of United States Seventhirties of 1865. The United States Certificate of Deposit for $2,781.04 with interest of $88.36, was used by the administrator on August 24, I865, to purchase $2,850 worth of 7/30 bonds. These were the last bonds purchased for the estate by the administrator. He now held $8I,o50 of government securities; made up of $49,000 registered bonds 1861; $8,000 of registered Fivetwenties of 1862, and $24,050 of Seven-thirties of I865. In January I866 General Skinner, Treasurer of the United States, paid Justice Davis $847.83 for the April I865 salary of President Lincoln. In the previous month Congress had appropriated a year's salary to Mrs. Lincoln minus any payments already made the President or his estate during the year March 4, 1865, to March 4, I866. From the $25,000 yearly salary was deducted the March salary warrant of $1,981.67, the April salary of $847.83 and the 5% income tax on these two payments, $145.16, leaving for Mrs. Lincoln $22,025.34. This amount was paid to her in Seventhirty bonds of I865. No income tax on this amount was withheld by the Treasury because it was not considered as salary but as a donation. This donation of $22,025.34 did not come into the administrator's hands as the appropriation was not made to the estate but was made directly to Mrs. Lincoln. Judge Davis as administrator did not give notice in Springfield until May 2, 1866, for all persons having claims against the estate to present them for adjustment. The Illinois State Register and the Illinois State Journal published the notice during the month of May, to comply with the law of the state. The only claim filed was one for $ i.oo to Allen N. Ford for four years' subscription to the Illinois Gazette, a Lacon, Illinois, newspaper President Lincoln was receiving at the time of his death. Mr. Ford, editor of the Illinois Gazette 1840-1866, had been a friend and supporter of Mr. Lincoln. He was one of the anti-Nebraska editors of the state who, in the Decatur convention, February 22, 1856, drafted a platform and appointed the state central committee which called the first Republican state convention in Illinois. No claims for accounts of Mrs. Lincoln were filed against the estate. The inventory of the estate as submitted to the court on November 29, 1866, listed $57,ooo in government bonds; temporary loan of $2,781.04, treasury warrants for salary $8,769.06, Springfield Marine Bank $9,044.41 and deposits in Riggs & Co. and the First National Bank in Washington $1,755.19. This inventory total had all been invested in government securities by the administrator. The administrator also held ten per cent notes due Mr. Lincoln to the amount of $4,427.69. The major part of this amount was a note given in 1859 by Norman B. Judd for $3,ooo at ten per cent which netted the estate $5,400 when paid September 2, 1867. The story of this note is one of interest and will be set forth in a later Bulletin. A note of John P. Mercer, Shelbyville, of May 25, 1852, for the small sum of $7.69 was un

Page  7 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association 7 - S collected. Of more interest is the note given in Washington, November 5, I864, by M. B. Church, marked worthless by the administrator. M. B. Church is listed in the I860-61 Springfield directory (pub. I860) as a student in the Lincoln & Herndon law office. The note of William and Golden Patterson of Urbana made April 25, 1859, for $60, was part of a fee received in a murder case in the Champaign Circuit Court. This note was paid in February 1866. Another, by Milton Davis of Danville, November 7, 1857, for $50, was settled in June I869. Two notes for $200 each were given in 1858 to Lincoln by A. and J. Haines of Pekin. The balance due, $154.65, was paid to the Lincoln estate in June 1867. In July 1858, Thomas J. Turner of Freeport, Illinois, gave him his note for $400 at ten per cent. In February 1866, Judge Davis recorded the payment of $400 on a compromise. It is likely that he waived the interest in order to get the principal. In the assets of the estate is listed a payment of Jas. H. and Jas. S. McDaniel of Sangamon County, $349.00. This was on a note for $250 collected for the estate by Wm. H. Herndon. The real estate listed by the administrator in the inventory of the estate included forty acres in Tama County, Iowa, acquired in 1854 under an Act of Congress of 1850 providing bounties to participants in the Black Hawk War. Patent to 120 acres more for services in the same war was issued to him in I860. This land Lincoln located in Crawford County, Iowa, six miles northwest of Denison, the county seat. In 1858 he acquired a lot in Lincoln, Illinois, situated on the south side of the courthouse square. The forty-acre tract in Coles County, Illinois, purchased from his father in 1841 was not listed in the inventory of the estate. His home at the northeast corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets, Springfield, concludes the list of real estate holdings in 1861. In 1861, Mr. Lincoln had rented his home to Mr. Lucian A. Tilton, President of the Great Western Railroad, for $350 a year. The administrator lists the payments for 1865, i866 and 1867, totaling $1,o50. In 1865 the home had an assessed value of $3,50o and city taxes were $52.50, and the state and county taxes $60.50, a total of $ 13.oo. The next year the tax was $182.80. The valuation, $3,500, remained the same, but sewer tax of $35.oo and an increase of the State's War tax to $36.00 account for most of the 60% increase. On February 8, 1861, three days before going to Washington, Mr. Lincoln had insured his house with the Hartford Fire Insurance Company for $3,200 against loss or damage by fire. The policy called for "$3,000 on his frame two story dwelling; $75 on his frame Carriage House, 18 by 20 feet, 60 feet East of Dwelling:" and "$125 on his frame Wood House and Privy, 13 by 50 feet, adjoining [the] Carriage House and 78 feet East of [the] Dwelling." This policy, renewed annually, was in force when Judge Davis made his accounting with the court on November I3, 1867. At this time the premium was twenty-seven dollars and twenty cents. After payments for taxes, fire in'surance and repairs, little revenue remained from the Lincoln home. During the period of administration of the estate the net yearly return from

Page  8 8 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association the home amounted to between fifty and seventy-five dollars, which was divided equally between Robert and Thomas, Mrs. Lincoln foregoing any claim to this income. The receipts of the estate during the period of administration were as follows: Acct. in Spg. Marine Bank $ 9,044.41 U. S. Treasury Warrants (salary) 7,921.23 Temp. loan to Govt. 2,781.04 Cash (Riggs & First Natl. Banks) 2,736.02 Notes collected 3,856.x8 Interest on notes & bonds 18,590.01 Rents 1,050.00 Claim from W. H. Herndon 30.00 $46,008.89 The expenditures of the adminstrator from June 1865 to November 1867 total $37,425.79, made up of the following: Bonds purchased for investment $23,987.80 Costs of Administration 92.68 Taxes, Insurance & Repairs 395.29 Mrs. Lincoln 4,084.83 Robert Lincoln 7,267.65 Tad Lincoln 1,586.54 Claims proved 11.00 $37,425-79 With receipts of $46,008.89 and expenditures of $37,425.79, there was a cash balance of $8,583.10 left in the hands of the administrator. On November 13, 1867, Justice Davis divided the estate among the three heirs, Mrs. Mary Lincoln, Robert and Tad. The $49,ooo of 6% registered bonds of 1881 had by reason of accrued interest and a premium of 12% an additional value of $5,880. The $8,000 of 5/20 bonds of 1862 had a premium of 8%, or $640. The $24,050 of 7/30 bonds were at a premium of 5%, making $1,202.50. Thus it will be seen that, including the accrued interest and premiums as above, in the amount of $7,722.50, this $81,050 of bonds were worth $88,772.50 on the day of distribution. With the cash balance of $8,583.10, there was consequently a total of $97,355.60 to divide among the heirs. The total withdrawals of the heirs during the period of administration as shown above was $12,941.20. This $12,941.20 with the $97,355.60 on hand for division made Lincoln's net estate $I10,296.80 exclusive of his real estate holdings. This amount was divided equally among the heirs, each receiving $36,765.60. Accrued interest for six months on $24,050 worth of bonds was erroneously left out by the administrator in the November 1867 settlement. In July I868, this interest in the amount of $877.82 less $200 paid to Mr. Lucian Tilton for repairs on the house in Springfield was divided equally between the heirs, each receiving $225.94. This amount with the distribution of 1867 made a total of $36,991. 54 distributed to each of the heirs. The law of the State of Illinois in force at the time of the probate of the Lincoln estate provided that upon granting letters of adminstration, a warrant should be issued under the seal of the probate court authorizing three persons of discretion to appraise the goods, chattels and personal estate of the deceased. From the records of the estate it appears that no appraisement was made. At this time the law provided that a widow should be entitled, in addition to her one-third of the personal property, to an allowance of certain chattels and a sum of money sufficient to maintain herself and children for a period of one year. The cash allowance does not appear to have been set off to Mrs. Lincoln, although she un

Page  9 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association 9 doubtedly received the various chattels to which she was entitled. The final report of the estate of Abraham Lincoln was filed by Judge Davis November 13, and was approved December 11, 1868. Judge Davis made no claim for compensation, either for personal expenses incurred (as travelling, clerk hire) or for commissions. He did not follow the customary procedure and employ an attorney. Under the law the administrator was allowed a maximum of six per cent of the value of the personal property, which would have entitled him to over $6,600. That Justice Davis' fine handling of the estate was appreciated by the heirs is shown in a letter of Mrs. Lincoln to Judge Davis, November 18, 1866: "Permit me to say, that in no hands save your own, could our interests have been so advantageously placed. Please accept my grateful thanks for all your kindness to myself and family." Many years later Robert in much the same tone wrote to Thomas Dent on September 12, 1919. "I cannot remember when I did not know Judge Davis, first as the Circuit Judge of whom I heard as a boy everything good from my father and who was very kind to me. Upon my father's death I went to Judge Davis as a second father, and this he was to me until his death. I am deeply indebted to him for counsel and affectionate help... and revere his memory." The items dealt with in this article are shown in condensed form in the following exhibits: INVENTORY OF ADMINISTRATION Cash on hand Bonds (6% int. payable in coin) Warrants (salary) Loan to U. S. Govt. Claim vs. Robt. Irwin Notes Rec. Net Estate Notes listed and marked uncollectible $ 2,736.02 57,000.00 7,921.23 2,781.04 9,044.41 3,860.00 $83,342.70 267.69 REPORT OF ADMINISTRATION-NOVEMBER 13, l867, COMBINED WITH SETTLEMENT OF JULY 1868. Inventory of admr. Unlisted claims of Herndon's Loss on Notes Rec. inventoried Claims allowed against estate Net Inventoried Estate Income during adm.:Interest collected Prem. on inventoried bonds Gain on bonds bought during adm. Rents collected Expenses during adm.:Costs of adm. Taxes, ins. & repairs on Real Estate Gain during adm. Net estate for distribution Distributed:To Mary Lincoln (In cash & bonds) To Robert Lincoln " " " " To Thomas Lincoln" " " " 83,342.70 30.00 83,372.70 3.82 11.00 14.82 83,357.88 19,467.83 6,520.00 1,264.70 1,050.00 28,302.53 90.50 595-29 685.79 27,616.74 110,974.62 36,991.54 36,991.54 36,99.154 110,974.62

Page  10 10 BULLETIN of the Abraham Lincoln Association BULLETIN Published Quarterly by THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN ASSOCIATION PAUL M. ANGLE G. W. BUNN, JR. HARRY E. PRATT Editors OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION LOGAN HAY, President HENRY HORNER, Vice-President Louis L. EMMERSON, Vice-President MARY E. HUMPHREY, Vice-President ROBERT E. MILLER, Treasurer G. W. BUNN, JR., Recording Secretary PAUL M. ANGLE, Secretary HARRY E. PRATT, Executive Secretary OFFICES 703 First National Bank Building, Springfield, Illinois PURPOSES: "To observe each anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln; to preserve and make more readily accessible the landmarks associated with his life; and actively to encourage, promote and aid the collection and dissemination of authentic information regarding all phases of his life and career." Editorial Notes Much of the information upon which this article is based was obtained from the papers of Judge David Davis which were made available to the Association through the courtesy of his grandson, David Davis III of Bloom ington, Illinois. As to the other facts, information was obtained from the photostats of the original court records in the possession of the Illinois State Historical Society and from the ledgers of the Springfield Marine Bank showing the accounts of Mr. Lincoln and David Davis as his administrator. On October I Dr. Benjamin P. Thomas resigned the Executive Secretaryship of the Association, and Dr. H. E. Pratt was appointed in his place. Dr. Pratt is a native of Cambridge, Illinois. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1923, and received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from that institution in 1930. From 1930 to 1934 he served as Dean at Blackburn College. Since 1934 he has been Assistant Professor of History at Illinois Wesleyan University. He has worked extensively in nineteenth century American history and has published several articles on various phases of Lincoln's life. Dr. Thomas, who retires to enter business, was appointed Executive Secretary in 1932. At that time the prospect was far from encouraging, yet the continued existence of the Association was never in doubt, and today its position is secure. That this should be the case is due in large measure to Dr. Thomas's able management and to the high standard of his historical work. His articles in the Bulletin and annual Papers, his Lincoln's New Salem, and his Lincoln: 1847-1853 have been important factors in the reputation the Association now enjoys. They have also given their author a place in American historical scholarship which will be unaffected by his withdrawal to another field. PAUL M. ANGLE. 0

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