Title Bond of Abraham Lincoln, 25 October 18411
Whereas I have purchased of Thomas Lincoln and his wife, the North East fourth of the South East quarter of Section Twe[n]ty[one] in Township Eleven North of Range Nine East, for which I have paid them the sum of two hundred dollars and have taken their deed of conveyance for the same, with a reservation of a life estate therein to them and the survivor of them—2 and Now I bind myself, my heirs and assigns, to convey said tract of land to John D. Johnston, or hi[s] heirs, at any time after the death of the survivor of the said Thomas Lincoln & wife provided he shall pay me, my heirs or assigns, the said sum of two hundred dollars, at any time after within one year after the death of the survivor of the said Thomas Lincoln & wife; and the same may be paid without interest except after the death of the survivor as aforesaid—
Witness my hand and seal this 25th of October A.D. 1841—A. Lincoln
John D. Johnston
For Value Recd[Received] I assighn the wit[h]in Title Bond to John J Hall for t[he] Sum of fifty to me paid in Hand the Rect[Receipt] of which is Hereby acknowledged[Decb?] 8th 1851J. D. Johnston
Filed December 1st 1851.
N. Ellington Clerk
|John D. Johnston|
Recorded & Examined December 3rd 1851 In Book No 1 on Page 43N. Ellington Clerk.
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed the body of this document. John D. Johnston wrote and signed the endorsement on page 2.
2The land described here comprised the east third of Thomas Lincoln’s 120-acre farmstead in southern Coles County, Illinois. He had purchased the parcel from his stepson John D. Johnston for $50 on December 31, 1840. On October 25, 1841, Abraham Lincoln purchased the parcel for $200. The conditions of the purchase made it amount to a cash gift to his father and stepmother, who retained the use of the land throughout their lives. After the death of Thomas Lincoln in 1851, John D. Johnston requested that Lincoln sell his 40 acres, all that remained of his stepmother’s farm, to a local farmer. Lincoln refused, and legally retained the title to the land throughout his life. John J. Hall, who had purchased the west 80 acres, cultivated this tract along with his own, and he acquired legal title to it in 1888.
Harry E. Pratt, The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1943), 60-63; Abraham Lincoln to John D. Johnston and Sarah Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to John D. Johnston.
Autograph Document Signed, 2 page(s), Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (Washington, DC)