Abraham Lincoln to Joshua F. Speed, 24 March 18431Springfield, March 24. 1843–Dear Speed:
Hurst tells me that Lockridge has redeemed the land in your case, & paid him the money; and that he has written you about it–2
I now have the pleasure of informing you that Walters has paid me $703–25 (in gold) for you– There is something still due you from him, I think near a hundred dollars, for which I promised him a little additional time– The gold, (except the toll) we hold subject to your order–3
We had a meeting of the whigs of the county here on last monday to appoint delegates to a district convention, and Baker beat me & got the delegation instructed to go for him– The meeting, in spite of my attempt to decline it, appointed me one of the delegates; so that in getting Baker the nomination, I shall be "fixed" a good deal like a fellow who is made groomsman to the man what has cut him out, and is marrying his own dear "gal"–4 About the prospect of ^your^ having a namesake at our house cant say, exactly yet–5[A. Lincoln6]
Mr J. F SpeedLouisvilleKy–SalinaLOUISVILLE KY.
Mar 24 43
|Note. 1 Oct[October] 41||572.32|
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed the letter. The closing and signature have been clipped from the document. Lincoln also authored the address on the back page, which was folded to create an envelope for mailing.
2Speed had been a partner in the mercantile firm of James Bell & Co. in Springfield. In 1841, the partners retained Logan & Lincoln to sue John Lockridge for payment of a $294.43 debt. On March 28, 1842, the court ruled for Bell & Co., awarding $312.09 in damages. Illinois law allowed a defendant whose property was sold to redeem the property within twelve months of the sale by paying the purchase price plus 10% interest. If a defendant failed to redeem his property, any of his judgment creditors were authorized to redeem the property under the same conditions, within fifteen months of the original sale.
“An Act concerning Judgments and Executions,” 17 January 1825, Laws of Illinois (1825), 151-60; James Bell & Co. v. Lockridge, 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; Abraham Lincoln to Joshua F. Speed.
There were two adult males named John Lockridge in the 1840s in Sangamon County; it is unclear which one was sued by Bell & Co.
3Peter Van Bergen had sold three lots in Springfield, Illinois, to William Walters for $1,000, and Walters paid with a promissory note secured by a mortgage on the property. Van Bergen then assigned the promissory note to Speed. At the November 1842 term of the Sangamon County Circuit Court, Logan & Lincoln brought suit against Walters to foreclose the mortgage. Walters failed to appear, and the court ruled for VanBergen and Speed, awarding $1,155 in damages. Walters failed to pay the judgment, and Speed purchased the lots at auction. Walters later redeemed the lots by paying Lincoln, who kept a record and forwarded the payments to Speed.
VanBergen for use of Speed v. Walters et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org.
4In the winter of 1842-43, Lincoln sought nomination to run as a Whig for the congressional seat in the Seventh District. Edward D. Baker, however, got the endorsement of the Sangamon County Whigs. At the district convention in May, John J. Hardin would defeat Baker for the nomination. For further discussion of the Sangamon County Whig meeting, see:
Abraham Lincoln to Martin S. Morris; Illinois Register (Springfield), 17 March 1843, 1:6; 24 March 1843, 2:4; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 6 April 1843, 2:4; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1: 215-18.
5Lincoln married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842. Their first child, Robert T. Lincoln, would be born on August 1, 1843.
Autograph Letter [Signed], 4 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL), .