John T. Stuart and Abraham Lincoln to Levi Davis, 15 March 18381Springfield, March 15— 1838Dear Sir:
We received yours of the 2nd Inst by due course of mail, and have only to offer in excuse for not answering it sooner, that we have been in a great state of confusion here ever since the receipt of your letter; and also, that your clients can not suffer by the delay—2 The suit is merely instituted to quiet a title which has passed through Dr Stapp,3 but to which he now lays no claim as we understand— He is a mere nominal party to the proceeding— More than all this, we believe nothing will or can be done with the case at this court—
We beg your pardon for our neglect in this business; if it had been important to your or your client we would have done better—4Yours sincerelyStuart & Lincoln
<Page 2>SPRINGFIELD Il.
12½Levi Davis Esqr[Esquire]VandaliaIlls.
Stuart & Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the letter in its entirety including the signatures and the address on the back side.
3Upon Stapp’s death, the Decatur Republican refers to him as “Dr. Stapp,” so it is probable that he is the Stapp to which Stuart and Lincoln are referring.
Decatur Republican, 2 January 1883, 3:4.
4Unknown v. Stapp, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141095.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL)