Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 1.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.


[1]   Sangamo Journal, August 19, 1837. As reprinted in the Journal, this handbill carried the following editorial introduction:


In accordance with our determination, as expressed last week, we present to the reader the articles which were published in hand-bill form, in reference to the case of the Heirs of Joseph Anderson vs. James Adams. These articles can now be read, uninfluenced by personal or party feeling, and with the sole motive of learning the truth. When that is done, the reader can pass his own judgment on the matters at issue.

We only regret in this case, that the publications were not made some weeks before the election. Such a course might have prevented the expressions of regret, which have often been heard since, from different individuals, on account of the disposition they made of their votes.

In an adjacent column appeared the following statement by the editor of the Journal:

It having been stated this morning that the subscriber had refused to give the name of the author of the hand bill above referred to (which statement is not true): to save any farther remarks on this subject, I now state that A. Lincoln, Esq. is the author of the handbill in question. SIMEON FRANCIS.

August 7, 1837.

As in the instance of other pseudonymous and anonymous articles published in the Journal, the editors have excluded all but those which are incontrovertibly Lincoln's. Prior to the appearance of this handbill, there had appeared in the Journal, June 17, 24, and July 8, 15, 22, and 29, a series of six letters signed ``Sampson's Ghost,'' which in view of subsequent developments seem possibly to have been the work of Lincoln and his colleagues, Edward D. Baker, Stephen T. Logan, and John T. Stuart. James Adams, the accused, attributed the letters to a group rather than to one individual. Charges which are explicit in the handbill and the subsequent ``replies,'' were more veiled in the Sampson's Ghost letters, but it is obvious that only Lincoln and his associates as attorneys for the heirs of Joseph Anderson would have at that time been in possession of the evidence upon which the insinuations were based. Internal evidence in these letters, however, does not determine Lincoln's handiwork, and, as in the instance of a later series of pseudonymous letters in which Lincoln was one of several collaborators (see ``The `Rebecca' Letter,'' August 27, 1842, and footnote, infra), authorities have been somewhat precipitous in assigning Lincoln's authorship.

Subsequent to the appearance of the handbill and the ``replies'' to James Adams, there appeared in the Journal on September 30 and October 7 further communications signed ``An Old Settler,'' which present additional accusations. These also may, or may not, have emanated from Lincoln's office, but they have been excluded here for the same reason as the earlier letters.

[2]   On August 7, Adams was elected over Dr. Anson G. Henry to the office of probate justice of the peace by a vote of 1,025 to 792.

[3]   May is correct.

[4]   Mrs. Mary Anderson and son Richard.

[5]   Almost two miles from the Statehouse in the hills upon which Oak Ridge was subsequently located.

[6]   John Dixon; entered November 17, 1823, Peoria County.

[7]   Deeded November 29, 1825, to Joseph Thomas, Sangamon County ``Deed Book J.,'' 33-34.

[8]   On September 17, 1825, Joseph Miller, Tazewell County, had given his promissory note for $27 to Anderson for this land. Anderson agreed to get Thomas to convey it to Miller, which was done November 1, 1826, ibid., 34-35.

[9]   On October 1, 1832, ibid., 35-36. Miller conveyed the land to Adams in consideration of Anderson's judgment against him, which, Adams claimed, Anderson had assigned to Adams in discharge of a debt that Anderson owed Adams.

[10]   Recorded June 18, 1836.

[11]   Benjamin Talbott.

[12]   Lucian Bonaparte Adams.

[13]   Sangamon County Circuit Court records do not show any such judgment.

[14]   The italicized words do not appear in the Journal on August 19, but were corrections in the September 30 issue.

[15]   Sangamon County Circuit Court Records, Book A, 323.

[16]   On October 6, 1827, ibid.

[17]   July 5, 1837, Adams filed what he claimed to be the original assignment, to which Anderson's name is signed in writing, ibid., Book C, 421.

[18]   Bill in chancery against Adams, filed by Lincoln & Stuart and Logan & Baker, attorneys for the heirs of Anderson, on June 22, 1837, makes no mention of either of these assignments, but charges fraudulent collusion between Adams and Miller. Joel Wright Admr. et al. vs Adams. MSS. Files, Clerk, Circuit Court, Sangamon County. Description of land (six and one-half lines) is only part of this eight-page bill written by Lincoln.

[19]   Thomas M. Neale, Springfield lawyer and surveyor.