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

To Peter H. Watson [1]

P. H. Watson, Esq., Springfield, Ill.,
Washington, D.C., July 23, 1855.

My dear Sir: At our interview here in June, I understood you to say you would send me copies of the Bill and Answer in the case of McCormick vs. Manny and Co. and also of depositions, as fastPage  315 as they could be taken and printed. I have had nothing from you since. However, I attended the U.S. Court at Chicago, and while there, got copies of the Bill and Answer. I write this particularly to urge you to forward on to me the additional evidence as fast as you can. During August, and the remainder of this month, I can devote some time to the case, and, of course, I want all the material that can be had.

During my stay at Chicago, I went out to Rockford, and spent half a day, examining and studying Manny's Machine.

I think you ought to be sworn before the evidence closes: of this however I leave you and others to judge. Very truly Yours,

A. LINCOLN.

Annotation

[1]   Tracy, pp. 58-59. Peter H. Watson was a patent attorney representing John H. Manny and associates, manufacturers of a mechanical reaper, who were being sued for alleged patent infringement by Cyrus H. McCormick, inventor of the McCormick reaper. Other attorneys associated with Watson on the case, in addition to Lincoln, were George Harding, a patent attorney of Philadelphia, and Edwin M. Stanton of Pittsburgh, later Lincoln's secretary of war. The trial took place in Cincinnati in September, but although Lincoln attended he took no part in the case. The story of how he was snubbed by his associates, Stanton in particular, has been told many times; a brief factual account may be found in Pratt, Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln, pp. 54-56.