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

To Isaac Gibson [1]

Secretary of the Alton and Springfield, Illinois
Sangamon Railroad Company Feb. 26th. 1851

Sir Under the direction of William Martin of Alton, I have commenced suits against three of your Stockholders who refuse to pay their calls. I suppose it is a matter of interest to the Company that we should not fail in these suits, as such failures might encourage others to stop payments. The cases will be fiercely contested at all points. Among other things, we shall be obliged to prove that the calls for instalments were made by the Directors under the 14th. Section of the charter. This proof we can not legally make without the production of the Book or Books, in which the orders for these calls are entered.

Knowing the inconvenience of producing these Books I have struggled hard to convince myself that we could in some way dispense with them, but in vain. The Books must be here, together with some person, or deposition to certify them as the Books of the Company. Our Court, at which these cases stand for trial, commences its term on Monday the 17th. of March next. Now what I wish is, that you will put that Book in your trunk, and bring it here to court. This may be a little troublesome, but I believe it will prevent a greater amount of trouble in future. Please write on receipt of this. Respectifully A. LINCOLN


[1]   Copy, IHi. Accompanying the contemporary copy of Lincoln's letter are copies of Gibson's telegram and letter in reply, dated March 15, 1851, explaining that in view of the fact that he could not leave New York at the time it would be necessary to postpone the suits.