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

To a Gentleman in Tremont [1]

July 31, 1843

Dear Sir---Your letter of the 27th inst. is received. I have consulted with Judge LOGAN on the question whether the 20 acres deeded by Harris will revert in case the county seat is removed, and after a good deal of reflection he thinks it a doubtful question. He says that where land is conveyed for the purpose of erecting public buildings on it, if those buildings are removed from it or abandoned as public buildings, the land reverts---but if not conveyed for that purpose, it will not revert by such removal or abandonment. Now in this case the deed does not show the land to have been conveyed for the purpose of erecting public buildings on it, while the law to which the deed refers provides for receiving the donation for the express purpose of erecting public buildings on it,---so that if the object of the conveyance is to be collected from the deed, it will not revert---while, if it be collected from the law, it will revert. My own impression is, that the object of the conveyance is properly collected from a consideration of the deed and the law both together, and consequently that the land will revert, in case the county seat shall be removed. Yours, &c.

A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   D, RPB. A broadside addressed ``To the Electors of Tazewell County'' argues for the retention of the county seat at Pekin on the ground that the public square and buildings on it would revert to the original owners if not used for public purposes for which it was donated. The name of the ``gentleman in Tremont'' to whom Lincoln's letter ``dated Springfield, July 31, 1843,'' was addressed is not indicated in the broadside. The land had been deeded by John H. Harris of Tremont.