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

To Buckner S. Morris and John J. Brown [1]

Friends Morris & Brown: Springfield, Octr. 19- 1847

Your letter of the 15th. was received this morning. The Governor is not here, and will not be, it is thought, for about ten days. Unfortunately for my attending to the business you sent, I start for Washington, by way of Kentucky, on next monday. I will try, however, to have the only objection that can be made, presented to the Governor. I suppose it is the true construction of the act of Congress, for the Governor, on whom the requisition is made, to look to the sufficiency of the affidavit; otherwise the provision of the act, that a copy of the indictment or affidavit, shall accompany the requisition, is mere foolishness. What view, however, our Governor will take, no man can tell. If he shall make the order surrendering the defendants, you will have, then, to do the best you can by a Habeas Corpus. [2] Yours in haste, A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS-P, ISLA. Buckner S. Morris and John J. Brown, attorneys of Chicago.

[2]   Apparently. this letter and the subsequent one dated October 21 are concerned with the extradition to New York of Joseph Thornton, Andrew Pringle, Samuel Stead, and John Davidson. Governor Augustus C. French of Illinois declinedPage  406

to award his warrant for the apprehension of the parties named, on the very ground suggested in Lincoln's letter---namely, the insufficiency of the affidavit upon which the purported fugitives from justice were demanded. See Governor's Letter-Books, 1840-1853, edited by Evarts B. Greene and Charles M. Thompson (1911), pp. 146-47.