Abraham Lincoln to Joseph S. McIntyre, 14 November 18511Decatur, Novr 14th 1851J. S. McIntire, Esq[Esquire]Dear Sir:
I am here now at court, and Shoaff has spoken to me about that suit of his against Thompson–2 In order for you to get a trial at the next term, you must get a copy of Thompson's Bill for Discovery, and send it to Shoaff at once, so that he can answer it– Dont neglect this a single day, but get the copy at once, and send it to Shoaff at this place by mail–3Yours trulyA. Lincoln
<Page 2>DECATUR Ill.[Illinois]
NOV[November] 144J. S. MIntire, EsqPekinIllinois–
[ docketing ]
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the last sheet, which was folded to create an envelope.
2Lincoln was in Decatur, Illinois, attending the fall session of the Macon County Circuit Court.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 14 November 1851, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1851-11-14.
3Lincoln references James Shoaff’s lawsuit against Jackson C. Thompson. In April 1851, Shoaff and E. S. Rogers sold Thompson the Illinois Reveille, a Democratic newspaper in Pekin Illinois, for $1,000, and Thompson gave them promissory notes for the purchase price. Thompson failed to pay a $225 note to Shoaff, and Shoaff retained Lincoln and Joseph S. McIntyre and sued Thompson in an action of assumpsit in the Tazewell County Circuit Court, seeking $300 in damages. Thompson argued that he paid off the note in question and filed a bill for discovery and injunction. Thompson wanted the assumpsit suit dismissed. Shoaff argued that the money that Thompson paid was actually for subscriptions and that Thompson never fulfilled the obligation of the note. In April 1852, the parties agreed to dismiss the bill of discovery, and the court ruled for Shoaff in the assumpsit case and awarded him $184.48.
Franklin William Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, vol. 6 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1910), 28, 276; History of Tazewell County Illinois (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman, 1879), 721; Praecipe, Document ID: 44117; Articles of Agreement, Document ID: 44121; Bill for Injunction, Document ID: 44133; Order, Document ID: 44125; Decree, Document ID: 138959, Shoaff v. Thompson, 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/Details.aspx?case=136311.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Birks Museum, Millikin University (Decatur, IL).