Abraham Lincoln to David A. Smith, 3 December 18471Washington, Decr. 3. 1847Friend Smith:
This is my first day at this place, & on reaching here I found your letter in relation to your business with Douglass–2 I met him afterwards, but disliking to dunn him at the first meeting with him, I let it pass, for the time–3 I will attend to it shortly however & write you–4
You intimate there is some danger of my neglecting the business; but if you will get me as good a fee as you got for Jo. Gillespie in the case he tells of, I'll never desert you–Yours trulyA. Lincoln
Letter of Honl.[Honorable] A. Lincoln Recd[Received] 20th of December 1847D. A. Smith.
2David A. Smith’s letter to Lincoln has not been located.
Stephen A. Douglas owed $337.49 to the St. Louis Perpetual Insurance Company. David A. Smith, the attorney for the company, asked Lincoln to collect the debt while in Washington, DC, where both men were serving in Congress. On December 21, 1847, Douglas paid $167 of the debt to Lincoln.
“Lincoln collected debt for St. Louis Perpetual Insurance Co.,” 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 Richard Yates; Bank Draft of Stephen A. Douglas to Abraham Lincoln.
3To “dun” is to repeatedly demand payment.
Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 1979), 451.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s) , Chicago Historical Society (Chicago, IL)