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

To David A. Smith [1]

Dear Smith Springfield, March 28. 1851---

On yesterday evening we argued and su[bmit]ted the Bank Certificate question. [2] I learn that Da[vis] [3] will probably not decide it for a week or [so] when he will send the decision down from [the] circuit. Logan entered his motion [4] merely [to get] satisfaction to the extent of the notes & certif[icates] received, taking no notice of the tender. [This] I suppose will test the question just a[s] well. He also thinks there may be a dif[fer]ence between notes and certificates; and therefore urged me, and I consented, that you should ascertain the exact separate am[ounts] of each, which you have received, and send it up, so that it can be got into the record. He also pressed me to agree that the certificates are in the form given in the [11?] Sec: of the Act of 1843. I agreed to this, [on] condition that my agreement should go for nothing, if the fact is really otherwise. W[e agree] on all this.

One other little matter. I am short of [funds] and intended to ask Col. Dunlap for my [fee] in the case in the U.S. court, but he lef[t sooner] than I expected. He is in no default wi[th me,] for he once mentioned the subject to me, a[nd I] passed it by. But I now need the money [and] I will take it as a favor if you will s[how] him this note & get him to send it to me. We never agreed on the amount; but I cl[aim] $50. which I suppose neither he or you will think unreasonable. Yours truly A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, owned by Mrs. Thomas S. Noyes, Chicago, Illinois. One edge of the letter is burned. Bracketed portions are given as reconstructed in Angle and revised by the present editors.

[2]   David A. Smith and George A. Dunlap as assignees of the defunct Bank of Illinois were suing James M. Dunlap, brother of George, for payment of debts owed the bank. The case had been decided previously against James Dunlap in the Sangamon County Circuit Court and Illinois Supreme Court, and was now back in the Circuit Court in James Dunlap's effort to get the court to credit partial satisfaction of the judgment by reason of payments received by the assigneesPage  105

in notes and certificates of the bank. Judge Davis later granted an appeal to the State Supreme Court. On July 7 The Supreme Court decided in favor of James Dunlap, allowing his claim to discharge his debt in notes and certificates of the bank.

[3]   Judge David Davis.

[4]   Stephen T. Logan, counsel for the defense, entered a motion for an order from Judge Davis requiring the assignees to accept notes and certificates of the bank. Judge Davis denied the motion.