Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Jonathan Haines Esq. Springfield
Dear Sir: Nov. 24- 1856.

Your letter asking instructions as to taking depositions of witnesses at a distance is received. You know I think our case is not yet ready for taking depositions, but as you wish to take them not-withstanding I give you such instructions as I can. There are two ways, First notify the opposite party or his lawyer, in writing that on such a day (more than ten days after you give the notice) you will send out from the Clerk's office a commission to take the deposition. The notice must contain a copy of the interrogations intended to put to each witness. Then notice will have to be drawn up by a lawyer and I cannot do it unless you were with me to give names places of residence and questions to be asked.

Second, go to some lawyer near where the witnesses live who is in the habit of practicing in the U.S. Courts and get him to superintend the taking of the deposition de bene esse as the lawyers call it. He will know how to do it. The lat[t]er is the mode I would advise in the present case.

I really do not know when the next term of court begins but as you pass Chicago you can learn in a moment. Yours Truly

A. LINCOLN.