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

To George B. Kinkead [1]

George B. Kinkead, Esq Danville, Ills---
Lexington, Ky--- May 27. 1853

I am here attending court a hundred and thirty miles from home; and where a copy of your letter of this month, to Mr. Edwards, reached me from him, last evening. I find it difficult to suppress my indignation towards those who have got up this claim against me. I would really be glad to hear Mr. Hemingway explain how he was induced to swear he believed the claim to be just! IPage  195 herewith inclose my answer. [2] If it is insufficient either in sub-stance, or in the authentication of the oath, return it to me at at [sic] Springfield (where I shall be after about ten days) stating the defective points. You will perceive in my answer, that I ask the Petitioners to be ruled to file a bill of particulars, stating names & residences &c. I do this to enable me to absolutely disprove the claim. I can really prove by independent evidence, every material statement of my answer; and if they will name any living accessable man, as one of whom I have received their money, I will, by that man disprove the charge. I know it is for them to prove their claim, rather than for me to disprove it; but I am unwilling to trust the oath of any man, who either made or prompted the oath to the Petition.

Write me soon. Very Respectfully--- A. LINCOLN---


[1]   ALS, Owned by William H. Townsend, Lexington, Kentucky. For a full account of the case of Edward Oldham and Thomas Hemingway v. Abraham Lincoln, Ninian W. Edwards, and George B. Kinkead, see Townsend, Abraham Lincoln Defendant (1923). Kinkead was attorney for Lincoln and Edwards at Lexington, Kentucky, in the settlement of the estate of Robert S. Todd. Edwards was named with Lincoln in the petition of Oldham and Hemingway to the Fayette County (Kentucky) Circuit Court for an attachment of funds in the hands of Kinkead. The petition alleged that Lincoln had collected $472.54 for the firm of Oldham, Todd & Company, but had never paid it, and that Edwards owed the firm nine dollars for freight paid by the firm for him. Edwards' deposition (May 23, 1853) denied that the firm had paid freight for him, but quoted a letter from Robert S. Todd to Edwards (August 15, 1840) to the effect that Todd was sending five bales of cotton yarn in Edwards' care for the benefit of Todd's daughters Frances (Mrs. William s. Wallace) and Mary, who was then residing at the home of a third daughter, Mrs. Ninian W. Edwards. Todd's letter mentioned having paid the freight as far as Louisville, Kentucky. Todd was at the time a partner of Oldham and Hemingway in the firm Oldham, Todd & Company.

[2]   Vide infra.