Deed of Charles Dresser and Louisa W. Dresser to Abraham Lincoln, 2 May 18441
This Indenture Made and entered into this second day of May AD 1844, between Charles Dresser & Louisa W. his wife of the County of Sangamon and State of Illinois of the first part and Abraham Lincoln of the County of Sangamon and State of Illinois of the second part. Witnesseth– that the said party of the first part For and in Consideration of the sum of Fifteen hundred Dollars in hand paid by the said party of the second part– the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell, unto the said Party of the second part his heirs and assigns, a Certain tract of land situate lying and being in the County of Sangamon and State of Illinois known and designated as follows to wit– Lot– number Eight and a Strip ten feet in width off of the South side of Lot number seven being the South quarter of said Lot Seven both In Block number Ten in E. Iles’ addition to the (late Town now) City of Springfield in the County and State aforesaid–2
To have and to hold the aforesaid Tract or Parcel of Land together with all and singular the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining to– the only proper use and benefit of him the said party of the second Part his heirs and assigns forever. And the said party of the first part, for themselves their heirs Executors and administrators do Covenant to and with the said party of the second part that they are lawfully seized have full right to Convey and will forever Warrant and defend the said Tract of Land from the Claim of them the said party of the first part their heirs and assigns and against the Claim or Claims of any other person whomsoever–
In Testimony whereof the said party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year aforesaid–Charles Dresser seal Louisa W. Dresser seal
|State of Illinois||}||SS[scilicet]|
Before me the undersigned a Justice of the peace for the County aforesaid personally came Charles Dresser & Louisa W. his wife who are known to me to be the real persons by whom and in whose names the above Conveyance was Executed and by whom and in whose names said Conveyance is proposed to be acknowledged and acknowledged that they executed said deed for the purposes therein Expressed. and the said Louisa W. Dresser wife of the said Charles Dresser being by me first examined Separate and apart from her said husband and the Contents of said Conveyance being first made known to her acknowledged that She freely and voluntarily and without any compulsion or coercion from her said husband she Executed the same and forever relinquish all Her right and Claim of Dower in and to the lands and Tenements in said Conveyance described–3
Given under my hand and Seal this 2d day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and forty four–Wm Lavely J P.[Justice of the Peace] seal
Recorded May 2nd AD 1844Benjamin Talbott R.[Recorder] S. C
1This text of the deed, from the county deed record book, was written by Benjamin Talbott. Another text is in Abraham Lincoln’s handwriting.
2The lot described here contained the only home Lincoln ever owned. He and his family lived there until he was elected president and moved to Washington, DC, on February 11, 1861.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 11 February 1861, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1861-02-11.
3“Dower” is a term that refers to the legally protected lifetime right of a woman to one-third of her husband’s lands and personal property. Dower was intended to provide for the support of a widow and her children. Because of this, a husband could not convey property without the consent of his wife.
Christopher A. Schnell, “Wives, Widows, and Will Makers: Woman and the Law of Property,” In Tender Consideration: Women, Families, and the Law in Abraham Lincoln’s Illinois (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 129, 133; Joan R. Gundersen, “Women and Inheritance in America,” Robert K. Miller Jr. and Stephen J. McNamee, eds., Inheritance and Wealth in America (New York: Springer Science and Business Media, 1998), 94.
Handwritten Transcription, 2 page(s), Sangamon County Deed Book V, 300-1, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, University of Illinois at Springfield (Springfield, Illinois).