LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. 1809-1865.
Autograph Document Signed ("Lincoln and Herndon"), 1 p, half legal folio, [Springfield, Illinois], filed March 31, 1855, headed "Ulysses Lindly & Theodore Baker ads. John Williams," half-sheet of blue stationary, expert repair on verso along folding crease.
LEGAL BRIEF IN LINCOLN'S HAND. The present fragment of a legal brief filed by Lincoln and his partner William Henry Herndon contains more than 100 words in Lincoln's hand. In the case of John Williams vs Ulysses Lindly and Theodore Baker, Lincoln enters a plea of actio non on behalf of the defendants, stating, in part, "they say that ... before ... said Mechanic's and Farmer's Bank assumed to assign said note by their President, said Bank had, on lawful demand, failed and refused to redeem in lawful money of the United States one of the circulating notes, made by said Bank, countersigned and registered according to law; and this the defendants are ready to verify...." The larger context of the case is now lost.
Fresh from defeat in the Illinois State Senate race, Lincoln had turned his attention back to his law practice, which he'd let slide during his campaign. In a note of March 5, he wrote to another client that he had been "dabbling in politics and, of course, neglecting business. Having since been beaten out, I have gone to work again." (quoted in Miller, Lincoln and His World, p 94).