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

To John D. Swallow [1]

[c. June 15, 1854]

Both your questions are the same. After you sold and deeded your property to Edmons, for a consideration which is worthless and fraudulent, any person who buys or takes a mortgage from Edmons, without Notice of the fraud, will hold the property against you; but whoever buys or takes a mortgage after your Bill is filed, is conclusively presumed to have had notice of the fraud, and therefore can have no better right against you than Edmonds himself had. This is the whole law of the case. Yours truly



[1]   Copy, ISLA, furnished by Frank E. Blane, Petersburg, Illinois. John D. Swallow was a resident of Postville in Logan County. Lincoln's note was written on the back of Swallow's letter of June 15, which reads in part as follows:

``I sold to A. Edmons my mill for two states Ioway and Wisconsin gave a warety deed for the mill---there seems to be, a spurias title as to the pattent with others I instituted a suit in chancery. Now if Edmons should want money and a stranger to the suit should loan him money and take a mortgage on the property (some three days after the record of the suit or bill was filed and notice served on Edmons---) will that mortgage be valid in and sustained at law---and if a piece of land was given for a pattent right and that right proves void and four months after a person comes and makes a purchase of said land in good faith an entire stranger to Edmons and the suit---can the purchaser hold the land at law[.] please write by return mail. yours Respectfully J. D. SWALLOW''