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

To Charles Hoyt [1]

C. Hoyt, Esq Springfield,
My dear Sir Jany 16. 1856

Our case [2] is decided against us. The decision was announced this morning. Very sorry; but there is no help. The history of the case,Page  329 since it came here, is this. On friday morning last, Mr. Joy [3] filed his papers, and entered his motion for a mandamus, and urged me to take up the motion as soon as possible. I already had the points and authorities sent me by you, and by Mr. Goodrich, [4] but had not studied them. I began preparing as fast possible. The evening of the same day I was again urged to take up the case. I refused, one [sic] the ground that I was not ready; and on which plea I also got off over saturday. But on monday (the 14th.) I had to go into it. We occupied the whole day, I using the larger part. I made every point, and used every authority sent me by yourself & by Mr. Goodrich; and, in addition, all the points I could think of, and all the authorities I could find myself. I had 6 Barr---70. and made all out of it that I could. When I closed the argument on my part, a large package was handed me, which proved to [be] the Plat you sent me. The court received it of me; but it was not different from the Plat already in the record. I do not think I could ever have argued the case better than I did. I did nothing else, but prepare to argue, and argue, this case, from friday morning till monday evening.

Very sorry for the result; but I do not think it could have been prevented. Your friend as ever A. LINCOLN---


[1]   ALS, IHi.

[2]   In the Illinois Supreme Court, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy v. Isaac G. Wilson, judge of the Thirteenth Circuit, a mandamus case to require the judge to appoint commissioners to appraise certain property in Aurora, Illinois, which the railroad wanted for shops, station, etc.

[3]   James F. Joy.

[4]   Grant Goodrich, a Chicago attorney.