Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  203

To George B. Kinkead [1]

Geo. B. Kinkead, Esq Bloomington, Ills.
Lexington, Ky. Sept. 13. 1853.

Dear Sir: Your letter of the 2nd. Inst. to Mr. Edwards, has been forwarded by him to me here where I am attending court. When, in your letter to me, of the 12th. July, you gave the opinion that O. T. & Co. would abandon their suit, it was plain to my mind they intended no such thing, else they would have told you so plainly. The matter now takes me at great disadvantage, in this, that it will cost me more to leave the Circuit (which has just commenced) and attend to taking proof, than it would to give up the claim; and your letter does not mention the time of your next term.

But the great difficulty of all is the want of something definite, to take proof about. Without a bill of particulars stating the names of the persons of whom, O. T. & Co claim that I have collected money for them, any proof I can possibly take, will be wide of the mark---can not meet Levi's [2] statement, (which I now suppose he is determined to make) that ``I told him I owed the amount attached.'' I can prove by John T. Stuart, of Springfield Illinois, that he & I were partners in the law from the Spring of 1837---to the Spring of 1841, and that, so far as he knows, we never had any business for O. T. & Co. By Stephen T. Logan of Springfield, Ills, that he & I were partners from the Spring of 1841 to the autumn of 1844, and that so far as he knows, he & I never had any business for O. T. & Co. By William H. Herndon of Springfield, Ills, that he & I have been partners from the autumn of 1844 up to the present time; and that so far as he knows, he & I never had any business for O. T. & Co---and by all three, that they never knew of me, individually, having any business for O. T. & Co. Also, by Ninian W. Edwards of Springfield, Ills, that so far as he knows or believes the whole of the business of O. T. & Co in Illinois passed through his hands, and that so far as he knows or believes, none of it ever went into my hands---that the claims at Beardstown & Shelbyville both passed through his hands, and were, in the fall of 1843, given to me, as desparate debts, by Mr. Todd, in manner as I have stated in my answer; and that less than three years ago, the father-in-law of one of the debtors, called on him to try to compound the debt. As I understand, both these claims went into judgments; and as to that at Beardstown, I can prove the truth of the answer, by the record, and by Henry E. Dummer of Beards-town, Cass Co. Ills. As to that at Shelbyville, I can prove the truthPage  204 of the answer, by the record that it was taken, not by me, but by a different attorney; and that it remains apparantly unsatisfied. By William F. Thornton of Shelbyville, Illinois, that he is the father-in-law of the debtor---that the debtor has gone to California; and that he left this, among others, as an unpaid debt, which he desired the witness to compound for him if he could.

All this I can prove; but without a Bill of particulars, it seems to me, it will not meet the case.

Can they not be ruled to give a Bill of particulars?

This matter harrasses my feelings a good deal; and I shall be greatly obliged if you will write me immediately, under cover to Mr. Edwards at Springfield Ills---telling me first, when is the next term of your court; and second, whether I can or can not have a bill of particulars. Yours truly

A. LINCOLN---

Annotation

[1]   ALS, IHi.

[2]   Levi O. Todd.