Abraham Lincoln to James Berdan, 7 May 18461Springfield, May 7th 1846Jas Berdan Esqr[Esquire]Dear Sir:
It is a matter of high moral obligation, if not of necessity, for me to attend the Coles & Edgar Courts– I have some cases in both of them, in which the parties have my promise, and are depending upon me– The court commences in Coles on the second Monday, and in Edgar on the third–2 Your court in Morgan commences on the fourth monday; and it is my purpose to be with you then, and make a speech–3 I mention the Coles & Edgar courts, in order, that if I should not reach Jacksonville at the time named, you may understand the reason why– I do not, however, think there is much danger of my being detained; as I shall go with a purpose not to be, and consequently shall engage in no new cases that might delay me–Yours trulyA. Lincoln
2The Coles County Circuit Court opened on May 11, 1846, and the Edgar County Circuit Court opened on May 18, 1846.
“An Act to Regulate the Time of Holding Circuit Courts in the Fourth Judicial Circuit,” 1 March 1843, Laws of Illinois (1843), 133; “An Act to Change the Time of Holding Courts in the County of Shelby, and for Other Purposes,” 21 February 1845, Laws of Illinois (1845), 47-49.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL)