Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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To George U. Miles [1]

G. U. Miles, Esq. Springfield,
Petersburg, Ills. Feb. 14. 1856

Dear Sir: Major Harris [2] left a letter with me, in order that I might → do something for you, in regard to your Goodman, or McAtee [3] land. I understand the facts of the case to be as follows---

Dec. 25, 1840--- Christian Goodman gave his note, and a mortgage on this land (S.E. frt. 1/4 of Sec: 22-17-6) to William W. Vigal, to secure $112- with twelve per cent.

Page  331Jany. 7, 1842--- Note credited $50

Jany. 7, 1842--- Note assigned by Vigal to Thomas Lewis.

Aug. 20, 1842. Note assigned by Lewis to F. T. King.

Jany. 2, 1843. Note assigned by King to Webster & Hickox.

In 1850 or 1851, I commenced a foreclosure suit on the note & mortgage, in the Circuit court of Sangamon county, for Webster & Hickox.

While this suit was pending, Goodman sold the land to McAtee, and Webster & Hickox also sold the note and mortgage to McAtee; and Mr. Hickox directed me to do no more with the suit for him & Webster; but to hold it up subject to the direction of McAtee. So the suit has stood ever since, and still stands.

I now learn from Major Harris' letter that McAtee died, and that the land has since been sold (by the administrator of McAtee, to pay debts) to John Baker; and that Baker has since sold to you. The reason I write you is, that I can not understand, from the Major's letter, precisely what your difficulty is. He tells me that McAtee bought the land of Goodman; and if this is so, and he paid for the land, and Goodman deeded it to him, I do not perceive that you are in any difficulty at all.

Did McAtee pay Goodman for the land?

Did Goodman deed it to McAtee?

If either of these is true, Goodman's heirs have no right to the land, though his widow would have dower, if she did not join in the deed. Please write me; and return me this letter, as it will save me hunting up the facts again. Yours &c A. LINCOLN---


[1]   ALS, DLC-HW.

[2]   Thomas L. Harris.

[3]   Probably Smith McAtee, a farmer.

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