To Lewis W. Ross and George W. Stipp 
I have to beg your pardon for not having wrote you before on the subject of the within. The rule to plead had expired monthsPage 193 before you wrote me &, I presume, months before you were employed.
Mr. Lawrence,  who was for the plff. said if he did not believe it was the deft.'s own default, he would not hold on to it; but as it was, he would.
 ALS, Public Library, Galesburg, Illinois. Ross and Stipp, attorneys at Lewistown, Illinois, had written to Lincoln on March 25, 1853, for information concerning an ejectment suit, Northrup v. Reynolds et al., which they had asked him to attend to months before in the U.S. District Court. Lincoln's undated reply is written on the verso of this letter. In view of Lincoln's very heavy court schedule in Springfield prior to April 2, and on the circuit from April 10 to June 5, it seems likely that he answered between April 3 and 9.
 Charles B. Lawrence, attorney of Prairie City, Illinois.