Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To William Martin [1]

Hon: Wm. Martin Springfield,
Dear Sir: Feb: 24. 1851

Your letter of the 21st. is received. I have examined the cases refered to by you, in 21st. Wend: 5 Ala. 3 Do. & 5 B. Monroe; and I fear to rely on them to sustain us in our question. We have sued for payments which we say the Directors have required. We must prove that the Directors did require them. Our exact question is ``Can we prove this without producing the books containing the orders requiring the payments?'' This question seems to me not [to] have been decided in any of the cases refered to. In the case in Wendell ``The plaintiffs proved calls for payments &c.'' p. 297. This was probably done by the production of the books. The only question then was whether the defendant had been sufficiently notified of the plan of making payment. The Alabama cases, though excellent on other points, do not seem to me to approach our question. In the Kentucky case, the Court themselves say, ``and the only objection made to it'' (the declaration) ``being that it does not show a sufficient notice or publication of the calls made by the board of directors or managers, upon the subscribers for stock, wePage  101shall confine our attention to that point.'' This clearly is not our point.

On the 5th. point, I thought the ``printer's certificate[''] would be sufficient; but Mr. Herndon doubted at the time; and as I find you doubt also, I will not be so arrogant as to insist that you are both wrong. Let us then be prepared to have the printer, in person, or his deposition, together with the papers, in open court.

As to making a ``Stockholder a witness'' I can not send you the authorities just now; because I have not preserved a list of them---but I will send them in a few days. Neither have I yet been able to find the new statute we have been speaking of.

Send me one of your blank declarations, and if I need more, I will write you. Yours as ever A. LINCOLN

Annotation

[1]   ALS, IHi.