Abraham Lincoln to Thomas J. Nance, 10 December 18351Vandalia. Decr 10. 1835Dear Sir
In regard to the South half of Sec. 36. in Town[Township] 7 North Range 1 West the following is the only information that can be collected at the Auditors office—2 The S. W.[Southwest] quarter of said section was sold in 1823 to Daniel Hough for the tax of 1821 & 2— Half of the other quarter was sold in 1827 to Jesse Bartlett for the tax of 1826— The other 80 acres have not been sold for taxes— The residence of neither of the purchasers is known at the office—3
There is but little of interest doing in the Legislature as yet: owing mostly to the census returns from several counties not having been made—4RespectfullyA. Lincoln
<Page 2>VANDALIA Ills
DEC 11Free. A. Lincoln P.M[Postmaster]
New Salem Ills5
FREET. J. NanceNew SalemSangamon countyIlls
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the entirety of the text, including the “Free” frank and address on the back page.
2The land described here was located in western Fayette County, Illinois. At this time, Lincoln was serving in the legislature, which met in the state capital of Vandalia. The Auditor’s Office was also located in the statehouse in Vandalia.
3Illinois law levied a tax on real estate. Until 1833, Illinois’ state auditor and treasurer conducted land sales to cover unpaid property taxes; after 1833, county officials conducted the sales. Illinois law required the auditor to keep accounts of all taxes due to and received by the state.
“An Act Supplemental to an Act, Entitled ‘An Act to Provide for Raising a Revenue,’” 19 January 1829, Revised Laws of Illinois (1829), 119-24; “An Act to Consolidate the Acts relative to the Auditor and Treasurer and Election of Attorney General,” 2 March 1833, Revised Laws of Illinois (1833), 103-07; “An Act concerning the Public Revenue,” 27 February 1833, Revised Laws of Illinois (1833), 528-34.
5Lincoln received free postage as a benefit of his appointment as postmaster of New Salem.
Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).