Abraham Lincoln to Amos Williams, 8 December 18481
Dear Sir:
Your letter of Novr[November] 27. was here for me when I arrived on yesterday– I also received the one addressed me at Springfield; but seeing I could do nothing in the matter then & there, and being very busy with the Presidential election, I threw it by, and forgot it–2 I shall do better now– Herewith I send you a document of "Information &c[etc]" which you can examine; and then if you think fit, to file a caveat, you can send me a description and drawing of your "invention" or "improvement" together with $20 in money, and I will file it for you–3 Nothing can be done, by caveat, or by examing the models here, ^as you request^ without having a description of your invention– You perceive the reason of this–4
Yours as everA. Lincoln
<Page 2>
Free. A Lincoln M. C[Member Congress]WASHINGTON
Mr Amos WilliamsDanvilleIlls–
1Abraham Lincoln wrote this entire document, including the address on the last page, which was folded to make an envelope.
2Neither of the letters Lincoln references have been located.
3A caveat is a notice given by a person, informing a court that another person may file a suit or application against him and that the court must give the caveator (person filing the caveat) a fair hearing before deciding any matter brought before it in the relevant case.
4Williams invented a mill wheel and sought Lincoln’s help in getting a patent. No evidence exists that Lincoln filed the caveat or for a patent.
Flora Woodbury, "Amos Williams: Danville Pioneer," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 26 (October 1933), 314.

Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s). Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).