Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  117

To Hezekiah M. Wead [1]

H. M. Weed Esq. Springfield,
Dear Sir: Jany. 22. 1852.

Your letter, inquiring for your case, was duly received. We finished arguing, and submitted the case yesterday afternoon, and it is not yet decided. We had a two days trial of it---and they are pressing us very hard on one or two points. I should not wonder if the case is decided against us. One of the hard points is, that our deed of Jany. 1820 is under the act of 1819, fraudulent & void as against their deed of Augt. 1820, because it was not proved or acknowledged according to that act, and because their deed was not defeated by a subsequent recording, the only mode of defeasance known to that law, and because it was incompetent to the Legislature to defeat it in any other mode, as they apparantly do by the act of Decr. 1822. This is the only dangerous point, as I think, on their old deed.

As to the tax deed, they do not rely on it as a perfect title, nor as a basis for the limitation act of 1839, but only as a basis for the limitation act of 1835. To our objection, that the law was repealed under which the sale was made, they insist that as the new law only repeals all laws coming within the purview and meaning of it, and as the uncollected taxes of 1838 were not within the purview of the new law, so far, the old law itself was not within the purview of the new, & so far was not repealed. This position of theirs seems absurd to me; and I found several authorities against it; but they find one for it and, worse than all, the judge [2] intimates that he is with them. If they get this deed in, their next step is to show ``actual residence[.]'' On this they introduced but one authority, which clearly is not in point, and the judge has given no intimation on this point.

Thus stands the case. I will write you so soon as it shall be decided. Yours truly A. LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, PU. Wead was an attorney at Lewistown, Illinois. The records of the United States District Court are not extant for this period, and nothing further is known of the case in question.

[2]   Judge Thomas Drummond.