Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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To W. W. R. Woodbury and William Fithian [1]

W. W. R. Woodbury & Springfield,
Wm. Fithian Jany. 26- 1854

Gentlemen---Your letter is received. You say Mrs. Sconce will relinquish her rights under the Will. This she must do, in order to get her legal rights. My opinion on all the questions asked is as follows.

She will have Dower (that is one third for life) in the lands, for which the Dr. assigned the certificates, and she will have nothing more in those lands. (I suppose the lands lie in this State).

If the Dr. was in his right → mind, he could give away the notes and money; and if he did so, it will stand; so that this part of the case depends upon how the fact may prove to be. Whoever administers must claim the notes and money, and contest with them, for them. She need give no notice to the Genl. Land-office. I infer that when Dr. Sconce died neither he nor his wife had any living child; and if I am right in this, then Mrs. Sconce will hold th[r]ee quarters of the land deeded to the child---thus---the child dying without brother or sister the land went in halves, or equal parts to the father and mother, and the father afterwards dying without a living child, one half of his half went to his wife---making up the three quarters. Their having the deed to the child will do no harm.

Better mention this to W. H. Lamon, [2] lest he should, unawares, commit me to the other side. Yours &c. A. LINCOLN---

Annotation

[1]   ALS Taper Collection Both Woodbury and Fithian were physicians at Danville, Illinois, and friends of the late Dr. J. A. D. Sconce, whose widow had apparently consulted them in regard to her husband's estate. Dr. Woodbury had been in partnership with Dr. Sconce in the drug business, and had commenced the study of medicine under the guidance of Dr. Fithian.

[2]   In 1852 Ward H. Lamon and Lincoln had established an office together in Danville and were in partnership to some extent in their practice in the Circuit Court and Illinois Supreme Court.

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