Deed of John Hutchinson and Mary L. Hutchinson to Abraham Lincoln, 2 December 18511
This Indenture,2 Made and entered into this 2 day of December A.D. 185 1 between John Hutchinson and Mary L. Hutchinson his wife, of the County of Sangamon and State of Illinois, of the first part, and Abraham Lincoln of the County of Sangamon and State aforesaid of the second part, WITNESSETH: That the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of fifteen dollars, in hand paid by the said party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained and sold, and by these presents do grant, bargain and sell, unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, a certain tract of land, situate, known and designated as follows, to wit: being lot number 490 fore hundred and ninety on the plat as recorded in the office of the Recorder of the County of Sangamon by said John Hutchinson for a Burying Ground,3 and by reference to said plat will more fully appear: To have and to hold the aforesaid tract or parcel of land, together with all and singular the priviliges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining, to the only proper use and benefit of him the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns forever. And the said party of the first part, for themselves their heirs, executors and administrators, do covenant to and with the said party of the second part, that they are lawfully seized, have full right to convey, and will forever warrant and defend the said tract of Land from the claim of them the said party of the first part, their heirs and assigns, and against the claim or claims of any other person whomsoever.
In Witness whereof, the party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year above written.IN THE PRESENCE OFThomas MoffettJohn Hutchinson
seal Mary L Hutchinson
State of Illinois Sangamon County.
On this 3rd day of December Anno Domini, eighteen hundred and fifty one before me, the undersigned Judge of the County Court within and for the County aforesaid, came John Hutchinson & Mary L Hutchinson his wife who are personally known to me to be the real persons by whom and in whose names the foregoing Deed is subscribed, as having executed the same, and by whom and in whose names the same is proposed to be acknowledged, who Severally acknowledged that they had signed, sealed and delivered the same, as their free act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein expressed.
AND the Said Mary L Hutchinson wife of the said John Hutchinson having been by me made acquainted with the contents of said Deed, and being by me examined, seperate and apart from her said husband, acknowledged that she had executed the same, and relinquished her right of dower in and to the premises therein conveyed, voluntarily, freely, and without compulsion or fear of her said husband.4
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal this 3 rd day of December Anno Domini, Eighteen hundred and fifty- oneThomas Moffett Judge Sangn Co[Sangamon County]5
|John Hutchinson & Mary L Hutchinson||}|
Filed for Record at 9, Oclock AM. December 5th AD 1851– & Recorded December 20th AD 1851, in Book Double H, pages 189 & 190B Talbott Clerk & Exofficio Recorder S C Ills7
1John Hutchinson, Mary L. Hutchinson, and Judge Thomas Moffett signed this deed. It is unclear who wrote the script in the deed form’s blank spaces, shown in the top portion of the first image.
2Historically, the word “indenture” referred to the crimps made in the original and copies of a document to prove the authenticity of the copies at a later date. Eventually, the word became synonymous with deeds, and particularly to real property transaction deeds in which both parties assumed obligations, which is the context within which the word is used here.
“Indenture,” 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.
3Edward (Eddy) B. Lincoln died on February 1, 1850, and was buried in lot number 490 at the Hutchinson Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois on February 2, 1850. This deed indicates, therefore, that Abraham Lincoln did not officially purchase the lot for Eddy’s grave until nearly a year after his son’s death. Eddy’s body was later reinterred at Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. No additional documents related to this deed, or to Eddy’s gravesite, have been located.
Jean H. Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography (New York: W. W. Norton, 1987), 126; Alan Manning, Father Lincoln: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and His Boys—Robert, Eddy, Willie, and Tad (Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2016), 59, 207.
4Dower was a form of estate that provided for a widow’s needs out of her husband's real and personal property, and such property was not subject to creditor’s demands. In antebellum Illinois, the widow of a man with children received one-third of the land that her husband owned at any time during their marriage for the rest of her life, unless she relinquished her dower rights in the prescribed manner. If her deceased husband had no children, the widow received outright ownership of one-half of the estate.
With this document, Mary L. Hutchinson relinquished all legal claim to this burial lot as part of the dower she would have been due upon her husband’s death.
“Dower,” Reference, Glossary, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Reference.aspx?ref=Reference%20html%20files/Glossary.html.
Partially Printed Document Signed, 2 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).