Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Joshua F. Speed [1]

Dear Speed: Springfield, Ills. Jany. 18- 1843-

It has been a long time since I wrote you last, but you have not been forgotten nevertheless. Hurst [2] called on me yesterday, and as he said by your direction paid me $72. State Bank paper, $42. Shawneetown paper, and $2.59 cents silver. What shall I do with it? The Nesbitts [3] have let the time of redemption run out on the land you bought on their execution, so that the land falls to you, and the cost is to be paid to the officer's somehow. Van Bergen [4] placed his debt on Walters [5] in our hands to collect and pay you. We foreclosed on Walter's house and lots and sold them & bought them in in [sic] your name. This sale, owing to the peculiarity of the case, was made without valuation or redemption, so that the property is now yours absolutely. But we suppose you would still prefer the money, and that Walters, (as he is reelected Public Printer) will wish to redeem it. We therefore suggest the propriety of your signing the blank document at the end of this sheet, authorizing Col: Elkin [6] to deed the property to Walters in case he shall redeem it. If he shall not so redeem it, there will be the cost to pay in that case too. It was sold for about $1200, the amount of

Page  306Van's debt; but although you are the ostensible purchaser, we have a secret contract with Van that he is purch[as]er for so much of the purchase money as is over and above what will pay you.

I have just called on judge Browne, [7] & find that he will pay nothing but Auditors warrants, which of course I can not receive. I wish you would direct me to bring a suit against him at once

Your brother James sent us a note on Bell & Boice, [8] which you had assigned to your Brother William. Ask James to write me whether we shall sue Boice, now that Bell is dead.

Mary is very well and continues her old sentiments of friendship for you. How the marriage life goes with us I will tell you when I see you here, which I hope will be very soon. Ever your friend A. LINCOLN

Of course the order below is not to be used unless Walters pays the money.

Whereas at a sale of Lots 14---15 & 16 in Block 7 in E. Ile's addition to the late town now city of Springfield Illinois, made by William F Elkin as commissioner under a Decree of the Sangamon circuit court, I became the purchaser of said lots, now therefore for value received of William Walters, I authorize and direct said Elkin to convey said lots by deed to said Walters, or to any other person that said Walters may direct. Witness my hand and seal this day of A.D. 1843 (SEAL)

Annotation

[1]   ALS, IHi.

[2]   Charles R. Hurst, clerk in James Bell & Company, who purchased Speed's share of the store in 1841.

[3]   Lincoln got judgment for $60 for Bell & Speed v. James Nesbitt on November 24, 1841.

[4]   Peter Van Bergen.

[5]   William Walters, editor of the Democratic Illinois State Register. Lincoln had obtained judgment for $1,155 in Peter Van Bergen v. William Walters on November 26, 1842. Speed's endorsement on verso of last page reads: ``replied to 27 Jany 1843/ gave Walters right to redeem if done immedyetly.''

[6]   William F. Elkin.

[7]   Thomas C. Browne.

[8]   Unidentified.