Logan & Lincoln to Abner Walker, 15 August 18421Springfield, August 15, 1842.Friend Walker:2
Enclosed you have an order of court allowing your assignee to sell your property on a credit. Nothing is said in it about allowing your creditors pay for what they may purchase without money. We however, think this a matter of no consequence; as it will be a matter of course to take their bonds and security, as of other purchasers, and then, in the final settlement, to set off their dividends against those bonds in whole or as far as they will go.3Yours, &c.[etc],Logan & Lincoln.
1This document is not extant and no image of the document has been located. This transcription is taken from the earliest published transcription of the document, in Ida Tarbell’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1900), 2:288. Tarbell presumably had access to the original, and presumably it was written by Abraham Lincoln.
2In the The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Roy P. Basler speculated that this letter was written to Isaac P. Walker, a General Assembly member from Vermilion County. In fact, it was written to Abner Walker of McDonough County, regarding his bankruptcy suit.
Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 1:291; In re Walker, 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://lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141871.
3The order mentioned in the first sentence is not extant. It may be that Walker’s creditors desired his land rather than cash as payment for his debts. No provision for such existed in the bankruptcy law, so a court order would have been required. Credit purchasers were generally required to post a surety bond in lieu of full payment.
“An Act to Establish a Uniform System of Bankruptcy throughout the United States,” 19 August 1841, Statutes at Large of the United States 5 (1856):440-49.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), Ida M. Tarbell, “Appendix,” in The Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1900), 2:288