Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  344

To James T. Thornton [1]

James T. Thornton, Esq Springfield,
Dear Sir Decr. 2. 1858

Yours of the 29th. written in behalf of Mr. John H. Widmer, [2] is received. I am absent altogether too much to be a suitable instructer for a law-student. When a man has reached the age that Mr. Widner has, and has already been doing for himself, my judgment is, that he reads the books for himself without an instructer. That is precisely the way I came to the law. Let Mr. Widner read Blackstone's Commentaries, Chitty's Pleading's---Greenleaf's Evidence, Story's Equity, and Story's Equity Pleading's, get a license, and go to the practice, and still keep reading. That is my judgment of the cheapest, quickest, and best way for Mr. Widner to make a lawyer of himself. Yours truly



[1]   ALS-P, ISLA. James T. Thornton, a native of Kentucky who moved to Sangamon County in 1833 and later to Putnam County, Illinois.

[2]   John H. Widmer, whose name Lincoln also spells ``Widner,'' was admitted to the bar at LaSalle, Illinois, in 1860.