Abraham Lincoln to Charles R. Welles, 27 September 18521Bloomington, Sept 27. 1852.C. R. Welles, Esq.[Esquire]Dear Sir
I am in a little trouble here– I am trying to get a decree for our “Billy the Barber" for the conveyance of certain town lots sold to him by Allen, Gridley and Prickett– I made you a party, as administrator of Prickett, but the Clerk omitted to put your name in the writ, and so you are not served– Billy will blame me, if I do not get the thing fixed up this time– If, therefore, you will be so kind, as to sign the authority below, and send it to me by return mail, I shall be greatly obliged; and will be careful that you shall not be involved, or your rights invaded by it–2Yours as everA. Lincoln
<Page 4>BLOOMINGTON Il[Illinois].
PAIDC. R. Welles, Esq–[Esquire]SpringfieldIllinois
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter, including the address on the last sheet, which was folded to create an envelope.
2The writ that Lincoln references was not enclosed in this letter, and its whereabouts is unknown.
Lincoln was in Bloomington to attend the McLean County Circuit Court, which opened on September 27, 1852.
The “little trouble” Lincoln references was a lawsuit involving William de Fleurville, James Allin, Asahel Gridley, and the heirs of David Prickett. Allin, Gridley, and Prickett laid off an addition to Bloomington. Prickett agreed to give de Fleurville, an African American barber in Springfield, four lots in exchange for shaving him during his lifetime. De Fleurville failed to record his deed and lost it. De Fleurville retained Lincoln and sued Allin, Gridley, and Prickett's heirs in the McLean County Circuit Court to enforce conveyance of the deed. Charles R. Wells was the administrator of Prickett’s estate. Allin and others failed to appear, and the court ordered the defendants to convey the deed. Lincoln paid the costs in the suit, except the Sangamon County sheriff's fees, for de Fleurville. De Fleurville’s widow sold the lots some years after his death for $2,500.
The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 27 September 1852, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1852-09-27; for documents related to this case, see Florville v. Allin et al., 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=136858.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Box 4, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).