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

To John W. Vance [1]

My dear old Friend: Springfield, July 7th. 1844-

Your letter of the 27th. June was received on yesterday. You remember taking the horse back from Karr, and receipting all of the debt except four hundred dollars and some interest. Well, at the last Decr. term of the U.S. court, we got a judgement for the $400. & interest according to your receipt. Kilgore was then in jail, and had been for three or four months. I had always had doubts about the legality of the transfer of the horse back to you, by Karr; and was fearful Kilgore might sue you, & recover either the horse or the value of him. I therefore made a written contract with Kilgore, in which he ratified the transfer of the horse to you by Karr, and I let him ``slope'' from the jail. His lying in jail so long, made a pretty big bill of cost. I presume near a hundred dollars---perhaps more. The whole cost, including this jail bill, you are liable for, though you have a judgement against the defendants for it. You personally, being security for costs, for your brother, in the suit, are liable any moment to be sued for the cost; and I may as well mention, that the jailor in particular, is continually deviling me to have his bill paid. I do wish you could do something for him. The judgement I think will be ultimately paid, but not speedily.

Van Bergen, the deputy Marshall, who has the execution is out of town now, so that I can not give you particulars as to the prospect of collecting the debt. I believe this is about all the information I can give you. Your friend as ever A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, IHi. Vance was a wealthy salt manufacturer who lived at Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois. He had served both as state senator and representative during Lincoln's terms in the legislature. Lincoln filed suit in Vance v. Kilgore et al on December 1, 1843, and on December 6 the court awarded Vance $1,765.66.