Abraham Lincoln to William H. Herndon, 19 January 18481Washington, January 19, 1848.Dear William:
Inclosed you find a letter of Louis W. Chandler.2 What is wanted is that you shall ascertain whether the claim upon the note described has received any dividend in the Probate Court of Christian County, where the estate of Mr. Overton Williams has been admin-Yours as ever,A. Lincoln.
<Page 2>istered on. If nothing is paid on it, withdraw the note and send it to me, so that Chandler can see the indorser of it. At all events write me all about it, till I can somehow get it off my hands. I have already been bored more than enough about it; not the least of which annoyance is his cursed, unreadable, and ungodly handwriting.3
1This letter is attributed to Abraham Lincoln. The original in Lincoln’s handwriting has not been located.
3Chandler asked Lincoln to research a claim against Overton Williams' estate in the Christian County Probate Court. Lincoln then wrote to William Herndon requesting that he do the research. Herndon’s return letter, if he penned one, has not been located.
For more on this case, search “Chandler, Louis W.,” in “Participants,” 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.
4Lincoln references his speech on the Mexican War delivered on January 12, 1848.
Printed Transcription, 2 page(s), John G. Nicolay and John Hay, eds., Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, new and enlarged ed. (New York: Francis D. Tandy, 1905), 1:350-51.