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

Annotation

[1]   AD, ORB. An exception to the rule of excluding law cases has been made for this document because of its bearing on Lincoln's philosophy of law. The date assigned by Nicolay and Hay (II, 366-67) has been retained for want of evidence in the document or concerning the case involved. The identical document appears again in Nicolay and Hay (XI, 112) and in Hertz (II, 737) dated December (?) 1858. A note in Herndon's handwriting on the last page of the document specifies that it was written ``about the year 1858.'' Another pencil notation in an unknown hand labels it a ``Brief of a legal argument in a case of appeal to the Supreme Court of Illinois in a Rail Road Case,'' and a typewritten notation on the same page reads ``ARGUMENT BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS BY MR. LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS CENTRAL CASE.'' No case which Lincoln argued for the Illinois Central has been discovered to which the argument seems fitting. Herndon's vagueness suggests that he did not know. Lincoln's reference in paragraph seven to ``P. & B. and S.C. & Co.'' suggests that the case involved Page & Bacon, for whom Lincoln handled a few cases (see letter of May 31, 1856), but the identity of S.C. & Co. has not been determined. A case involving Henry D. Bacon of Page & Bacon, and the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad (see letter to Koerner, July 19, 1857) seems an excellent possibility except for the fact that none of the principals named in the suit can be identified with Lincoln's ``S.C. & Co.'' Pending further discoveries, the identity of the case remains uncertain.