Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  426

Petition to William H. Bissell for Pardon of George High [1]

[November 7, 1857]

To his Excellency, the Governor of the State of Illinois.

We, the undersigned citizens of Vermilion County respectfully represent that George High was, at the fall term of the Champaign county circuit court, 1855, convicted of the crime of horse-stealing, and sentenced to the penitentiary for the term of three years; that the offence was committed in this county, and the trial was in Champaign by change of venue; that he has now been in the penitentiary more than two years, and was confined in jail about fourteen months previous to his conviction; that most of us took an active interest in procuring his conviction; that we now think public justice has been satisfied in his case; and as he is yet quite a young man, we hope and believe some lenity towards him, would be favorable to his reformation for the future. We therefore respectfully ask that he be pardoned for the remainder of his term.

I have been acquainted with the circumstances of George High's case from the time of his arrest; and I cheerfully join in the request that he may be pardoned. Novr- 10- 1857. A. LINCOLN---


[1]   AD, I-Ar. This petition in Lincoln's handwriting bears twenty-seven signatures of citizens of Vermilion County, including the prosecuting attorneys O. L. Davis and Ward H. Lamon. Judge David Davis as well as Lincoln wrote out an endorsement. Davis' endorsement is dated November 7, at Danville. Lincoln apparently carried the petition to Springfield personally, and then added his own endorsement on November 10.