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Abraham Lincoln to Simeon Ryder, 16 February 18441
Mr Simeon Ryder:2
Yours of the 14th Inst is received.3 The decree taken against Stringer at the last term of our court was not a final, but only an interlocutory decree–4 The substance of it is, that Stringer pay to you on or before the first day of the next term, your debt & interest, and that Stringer should have ten days to file an answer, to enable him to contest the claim of Mitchells heirs, and the cause continued– Stringer's ten days have long since expired long ago, and he has filed no answer– At next court, I suppose a decree will rendered, ordering the sale of the property to pay your debt, subject to the claim of Mitchell's heirs–
No objection Injunction has been obtained in the case–5
Yours &c.[etc.]A. Lincoln
[endorsement]
03/13/1844
ansd[answered] March 13d & letter sent by strong6

<Page 2>
[docketing]
02/16/1844
A. Lincoln
Springfield Feb[February] 16th 44
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed the letter. Simeon Ryder wrote the endorsement. The docketing was written by a separate person.
2Daniel Stringer owed Ryder $300. Edward Mitchell secured the debt with a bond for a city lot in Springfield, Illinois. Mitchell died before the debt was discharged, and Ryder retained Stuart & Lincoln and sued Stringer and Mitchell’s heirs to obtain a deed to the land.
Ryder v. Stringer et al., 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=139917.
3Ryder’s February 14, 1844 letter to Lincoln has not been located.
4An interlocutory decree is a provisional decree in a legal case; not the final decision. The decree to which Lincoln refers was handed down by the court on November 30, 1843. It ordered that Stringer pay $300 with interest at seven percent. The court also gave Stringer an opportunity to answer the charges, which he failed to do.
Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 1979), 731; Decree, 30 November 1843, Ryder v. Stringer et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=139917.
5The court ordered the master in chancery to sell the lot in order to pay Stringer’s debts. In November 1844, Stringer’s minor children sued for an injunction to stop the sale, claiming that they rightfully owned the land. The court ordered the injunction.
Bill for Injunction, 20 November 1844; Decree, 20 November 1844, Ryder v. Stringer et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=139917.
6“Strong” likely refers to Springfield attorney Schuyler Strong.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Hayner Memorial Library (Alton, IL), .