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

To David A. Smith [1]

D. A. Smith Esq. Springfield,
Dear Sir: June 10. 1853.

We have had Dr. Higgins' [2] [ca]se under consideration; and, inasmuch as, by the [law] ``he shall be subject to removal onlyPage  198 for infi[delity to] the trust reposed in him, or incompetency [in] the discharge thereof''---we think the resolution [o]f removal, not placing the removal on either [of] these grounds, is, on it's face void; and we further think, that any removal, without giving the Dr. a chance to be heard in his defence, on the questions, of infidelity and incompetency, one or both, will be void. Quo warranto, we think, is the way; [an]d we think it some better that he should [h]old on, and leave his adversaries to proceed; but if his holding on would embarrass the institution, he might, without much disadvantage, leave, and commence the proceedings himself. Yours &c.




[1]   ALS, owned by David A. Lansden, Cairo, Illinois. In Lincoln's hand except for Logan's signature, the letter is burned on one edge. Missing words have been restored by the editors.

[2]   James M. Higgins, superintendent of the Illinois State Hospital for the Insane at Jacksonville, was removed by the board of trustees, June 6, 1853. The Morgan County Circuit Court in the fall term held that Higgins' removal was illegal, but the Illinois Supreme Court in January, 1854, reversed the decision. Lincoln was one of Higgins' attorneys before the Supreme Court.