Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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To Samuel C. Davis and Company [1]

Messrs S. C. Davis & Co. Springfield, Ills. Feb. 23. 1858

Yours of the 20th. received yesterday. We have just now paid the costs in the cases as per statement sent you. It took $330.90 to pay them. Currency answered the purpose. We used the $300 of yours we had here on deposite---and we drew on you, in favor of Mr. Ridgely [2] for the remaining $30.90. [3] The draft to Mr. Ridgely on you is signed ``A Lincoln'' and not ``Lincoln & Herndon.[''] This was done inadvertantly, and we mention it in order that you may not misunderstand the draft when you see it.

All this cost the defendants have, eventually, to pay. By the law of the U. S. court, there is a docket fee of ten dollars in each such case as these, taxed as costs, & when collected, paid to the plaintiff's attorney. There being ten of these cases of yours, we, as your attorneys, received one hundred dollars of this cost. You ultimately recover these docket fees back from the defendants, the same as the other costs.

We are in some perplexity about the collection of these debts. The Marshal now has the executions and will soon call on the defendants. Any that may pay in money, or turn out sufficient of personal property, will be easy cases; but in cases where real estate is turned out, we see no way to be safe, as to titles and value,Page  435 but to visit the several localities, and examine carefully. If, as with you in Missouri, third persons would buy real estate at execution sales, we might leave them to take care of themselves on titles and values; but here with us, under our redemption laws, third persons never bid & consequently plaintiffs have to buy in themselves & if not posted on titles & values, they get badly bit. The same is applicable to the foreclosure cases; and if you know any thing as to titles & values of the mortgaged premises in the cases of Thomas J. Kinney & Campbell & Hundl[e]y, we wish you would write us.

We have instructed the marshal to report to us accurately in all cases when he can find nothing but real estate. Yours very truly LINCOLN & HERNDON.


[1]   ALS, IHi. A note at the top of the letter reads as follows: ``This letter is not to be published. W. H. Herndon.'' S. C. Davis and Company were wholesale merchants in St. Louis, Missouri.

[2]   Nicholas H. Ridgely.

[3]   Written over this figure in a different handwriting is the following notation: ``Paid 24th.''

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