Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To Samuel Galloway [1]

Hon. Samuel Galloway Springfield, Ill.,
My dear Sir: July 27, 1859.

Your letter in relation to the claim of Mr. Ambos [2] for the Columbus Machine Manufacturing Company against Barret [3] and others is received. This has been a somewhat disagreeable matter to me. As I remember, you first wrote me on the general subject, Barret having then had a credit of four or five hundred dollars, and there was some question about his taking the machinery. I think you inquired as to Barret's responsibility; and that I answered I considered him an honest and honorable man, having a great deal of property, owing a good many debts, and hard pressed for ready cash. I was a little surprised soon after to learn that they had enlarged the credit to near ten thousand dollars, more or less. They wrote me to take notes and a mortgage, and to hold on to the notes awhile to fix amounts. I inferred the notes and mortgage were both to be held up for a time, and did so; Barret gave a second mortgage on part of the premises, which was first recorded, and then I was blamed some for not having recorded the other mortgage when first executed. My chief annoyance with the case now is that the parties at Columbus seem to think it is by my neglect that they do not get their money. There is an older mortgage on the real estate mortgaged, though not on the machinery. I got a decree of foreclosure in this present month; but I consented to delay advertising for sale till September, on a reasonable prospect that something will then be paid on a collateral Barret has put in my hands. When we come to sell on the decree, what will wePage  394 do about the older mortgage? Barret has offered one or two other good notes---that is, notes on good men---if we would take them, pro tanto, as payment, but I notified Mr. Ambos, and he declined. My impression is that the whole of the money cannot be got very soon, anyway, but that it all will be ultimately collected, and that it could be got faster by turning in every little parcel we can, than by trying to force it through by the law in a lump. There are no special personal relations between Barret and myself. We are personal friends in a general way---no business transactions between us---not akin, and opposed on politics. Yours truly,



[1]   NH (1894 edition), I, 536-37. The text of this letter is reproduced from the early two-volume edition because of omissions in the text as given in the Tandy edition of 1905, (V, 134-36). Samuel Galloway was an attorney at Columbus, Ohio.

[2]   Charles Ambos. See Lincoln's letter, June 21, supra.

[3]   James A. Barrett.