Abraham Lincoln to Samuel D. Marshall, 22 January 18481Washington.Jany 22. 1848Dear Sam:
Your letter of the 15th is received: Your letter to me concerning our Dorman case was also received, while I was very busy preparing to start on here–2 I handed the letter to Judge Logan and extorted a special promise from him to examine the case & write you– Although I know the Judge to be growing somewhat negligent, I did not doubt that, from the pecularity of this case, and his very assuring promise, he would attend to it– I know he intended to do it; but I suppose he has forgotten it– I know nothing that I can here do in the matter–3
As to the matter of your lost horse, I will look into it, & do something if I can–4Yours trulyA Lincoln
Samuel. D. Marshall
2Neither of Samuel D. Marshall’s letters have been located. The Lincolns left for Washington, DC, on November 25, 1847, so these letters were probably written in November 1847.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 25 November 1847, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1847-11-25.
3In 1826, the Gallatin County Probate Court awarded John Lane over $1,000 due him by Christopher Robinson’s estate. The court failed to execute the judgment, and in 1841, Lane sued the estate’s heirs, William and Nancy Dorman, who were represented by Samuel D. Marshall. In September 1842, the Gallatin County Circuit Court ruled for Lane, and the Dormans retained Lincoln to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled for the Dormans, basing its opinion upon Lincoln’s arguments. Lincoln also successfully represented the Dormans in another Supreme Court appeal following a second attempt by Robinson’s estate and heirs to collect the debt. In February 1845, the Dormans signed a bond promising to convey to Lincoln a one-third interest in 160 acres of the Robinson estate’s land if they won the case. Lincoln never took possession of the land, and in 1853, he and Mary Lincoln sold the land to Dorman for $100.
For previous letters concerning the Dorman case, see Abraham Lincoln to Samuel D. Marshall; Abraham Lincoln to Samuel D. Marshall; Abraham Lincoln to Samuel D. Marshall; Abraham Lincoln to Samuel D. Marshall; Abraham Lincoln to Samuel D. Marshall. Marshall also wrote Lincoln about the case in April 1849.
Dorman et ux. v. Lane, 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; Dorman et ux. v. Yost, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org; “Dorman et ux. v. Yost,” Daniel W. Stowell et al., eds., Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008), 1:259-300.
4Marshall most likely lost his horse during his service in the Mexican War.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Chicago Historical Society (Chicago, IL).