Anson L. Brewer to Abraham Lincoln, 17 November 1New Lisbon Nov. 17 ^52^A Lincoln Esq[Esquire]Dear Sir:
I should like very much to hear how you are getting along in the collection of the claim of Kelly vs Blacklage. Be pleased to let me know on the receipt of this.Yours &c[etc]A L Brewer
[Last spr]ing I commenced a suit in [the case] within mentioned, for the October [term of] the Logan Co. Circuit court; & [when the] term came, behold, the Sheriff had not served the process– I ordered an alias for the next April term–2 It was all I could do–A. Lincoln3
2Reference to the alias process or execution, an alias is a second or further writ, summons, execution or subpoena, used when the first or earlier process failed to accomplish its purpose. The alias version of the writ usually includes the phase, “as we have before commanded you.”
“Alias,” Reference, Glossary, 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/Reference.aspx?ref=Reference%20html%20files/Glossary.html; Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 1990), 71.
3Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this endorsement. The document has a hole cut out, rendering some of Lincoln’s text missing. The supplied text comes from the reconstruction in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln.
Anson L. Brewer and Lincoln reference a lawsuit involving James Kelly and Jesse D. Blackledge. In August 1838, Kelly sold his share of a mill in Columbiana County, Ohio, to Nathan Harris, who financed the transaction with a series of promissory notes, with Blackledge as security. Harris and Blackledge did not redeem the notes upon their maturity, and in August 1845, Kelly brought suit in the Court of Common Pleas of Columbiana County to recover the debt. In June 1847, the court rendered a judgment against Blackledge and Harris for $632.59. Blackledge failed to satisfy the judgment and moved to Logan County, Illinois. Brewer, Kelly’s attorney in Ohio, traced Blackledge to Logan County. In October 1852, Kelly retained Lincoln & Herndon and sued Blackledge in the Logan County Circuit Court to recover the debt. Blackledge died, and Kelly dismissed the case in order to file a claim against the Blackledge’s estate. Kelly continued to employ Lincoln & Herndon, and in 1854, he filed a claim against David G. Evans, the executor of Blackledge's estate, in the Logan County Court. In April 1855, the court refused the claim because Kelly had not filed the claim in time. In September 1855, Kelly appealed the judgment to the Logan County Circuit Court. The court ruled for Kelly and awarded him the judgment award from Ohio.
In 1855, Lincoln wrote Brewer three additional letters about this case, and Brewer wrote one additional letter.
Henry C. Friend, “Abraham Lincoln as a Receiving Attorney: Kelly vs. Blackledge,” Abraham Lincoln’s Commercial Practice (Chicago: Commercial Law Foundation, 1970), 21-28; Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 2:161, 308-9, 315-16, 327; Kelly v. Blackledge, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=140956; Kelly v. Evans, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=136119; Kelly v. Evans, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=136120; Abraham Lincoln to Anson L. Brewer; Anson L. Brewer to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Anson L. Brewer; Abraham Lincoln to Anson L. Brewer.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Brown University (Providence, RI).