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

To Onslow Peters [1]

Onslow Peters, Esq Springfield,
Dear Sir June 25. 1852

Yours of the 23rd. is just received. I can not recollect John W. Gere [2] by name, but if it is the case I had in hand once, Gere had no legal claim or title papers, but on speculation had made an arrangement with one of the Shurtluffs, [3] to share expenses & profits in an attempt to get the land under Shurtluffs' claim. At my own expense I went to Jacksonville once, and investigated the claim, & decided it to be valueless. The case was this. While Shurtluff was a minor, his father entered the land in the minors name; then wishing to change residence, as guardian of the minor, applied to the Morgan circuit court (in which county the land lies) for an order to sell the land and to invest the proceeds in other lands for the minor. Judge Lockwood [4]Page  121 was Judge of the circuit court then; & he conducted the case with great caution. He allowed the sale of land, (which had in fact been previously negociated) to be confirmed only after taking proof that it had been sold for it[s] full value, and the proceeds, or rather, an equal amount of money, already invested in other lands, in the minors name, in Tazewell county---deeds executed & recorded, for the Tazewell lands, & evidence of it brought into the Morgan court, before the decree confirming the sale of the Waverly land was allowed to pass. The quantity of the Tazewell land was greater (as I remember) than that of the Waverly land---the former 3. 80's the other 160. I believe there were two minors instead of one, but this does not change the principle. One died under circumstances that made the other sole heir. After the survivor came of age he took & appropriated the Tazewell land. Yours as ever A LINCOLN


[1]   ALS, owned by E. C. Crampton, Raton, New Mexico. Onslow Peters was an attorney of Peoria, Illinois.

[2]   Neither John W. Gere nor the case referred to has been identified.

[3]   Possibly Milton Shurtleff, a son of Benjamin Shurtleff, founder of Shurtleff College, Alton, Illinois.

[4]   Samuel D. Lockwood.