Promissory Note of Daniel E. Ruckel to Abraham Lincoln, 15 August 18511Springfield, August 15– 1851
On or before the 25th day of December 1854, I promise to pay Abraham Lincoln three hundred dollars, together with interest thereon at the rate of ten per cent per annum, from the 25th day of December next until paid, the interest payable annually, and on any default in the payment of interest, the principal to be due, for value received–2D. E. Ruckel
Received, Jany 3. 1854– on settlement of D. E. Ruckel; account against me, seventy nine dollars– ($79–00–)A. Lincoln
Dec: 25– 1854– Received nine dollars and ten cents, leaving remainder of interest now due to restore the original principal of $300–A. Lincoln
Jany 26. 1856. Received of R. H. Beach, administrator thirty, dollars, being entered up to Christmas lastA Lincoln
Jany 2, 1857. Received of R. H. Beach, administrator, &c[etc.], thirty dollars, being interest up to Christmas lastA. Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote this promissory note, but Daniel E. Ruckel signed it. Lincoln also wrote each of the four entries in the second image, related to the repayment of this debt.
2This loan constituted a mortgage for several lots of land Ruckel wished to purchase in Springfield. He made one payment to Lincoln in January 1854, but died on April 9, 1854, before he could repay the remainder of this debt. Shortly after his death, his brother, Jacob Ruckel, and Richard H. Beach became the administrators of his estate.
On July 7, 1853, Lincoln released lots nine, ten, eleven, and twelve of “Allen’s addition to Springfield” from the mortgage Daniel E. Ruckel had owed him. As the administrators of Daniel’s estate, Jacob Ruckel and Beach likely made the payment noted on the verso of this promissory note (shown in the second image) for December 1854. On September 28, 1857, Lincoln noted that he had received $300 from Jacob Ruckel, the principal of the mortgage he had given to Daniel. This settled the mortgage. Lincoln noted that he would hand over the original mortgage and note, and that Beach would settle the remaining interest due to Lincoln on the loan. As also noted on the verso of this promissory note (shown in the second image), Beach indeed made two additional payments—one in 1856 and another in 1857.
Also, on September 28, 1857, Jacob and Laura A. Ruckel mortgaged to Lincoln, for $500, four lots of land that Jacob had acquired from his brother’s estate. They agreed to repay this mortgage, plus ten percent interest for the year, within one year. This mortgage was extended, but eventually paid in full.
Illinois, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999, 17 April 1854, Sangamon County (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2015); Release of Mortgage Taken from Daniel E. Ruckel; Receipt of Abraham Lincoln to Jacob Ruckel; Mortgage Deed from Jacob Ruckel and Laura Ruckel to Abraham Lincoln, Promissory Note from Jacob Ruckel to Abraham Lincoln; Harry E. Pratt, The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield: The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1943), 74-75.
Handwritten Document Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Brown University (Providence, RI).