Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Mr. S. R. Lowry. Springfield,
Dear Sir: August 17. 1850

Your letter of the 13th. was received a day or two ago, and I now proceed to answer it. Your first question is ``What is lacking to perfect a title on the part of the defendants?'' Answer---The defendants, so far as I know, do not claim to have any title, except a taxtitle; and this the court has decided to be insufficient; and I know nothing the defendants can do to perfect this title. I do not know what you mean by ``the conveyances sent by mail.'' The deed purporting to be made some years ago, at St. Louis, by Page (the Patentee) to Ryan, we had at the trial, and still have. That deed, in the hands of these defendants, was sought to be used as evidence of what the lawyers call an outstanding title---that is, a title owned by neither plaintiff nor defendants. The trouble with this deed was, that the plaintiff proved it to be a forgery; and I see no way in which the defendants can ever succeed unless they can somehow prove that this deed is not a forgery. This is the whole story. The case can not be gained by much talking.

A new trial was allowed upon the payment of costs; and, until the costs are paid, the defendants are liable to be put out of possession at any moment the plaintiff may see fit to order out a writ;Page  93 which, however, he has not yet done. The amount of the cost is $25-82 cents, as the clerk informs me. Yours &c A. LINCOLN---