Abraham Lincoln to Solon Cumins, 14 February 18531
Solon Cumins Esq[Esquire]Grand De tour IllsDear Sir:
Your letter in relation to Mr Adams' business is received–2 The time will possibly come when we shall need Bradshaws’ testimony to the point you mention, but in the present attitude of the case we are not ready for it— it would not avail us now if we had it– Still, I shall be very glad if you will ascertain, and put down in writing, exactly what Bradshaw will swear, on the question of Denny having been paid for the land with Adams' money, & also, as to whether Adams, when he took the deed, had any knowledge of Kemper's judgment against Bradshaw– Ascertain these things & write me what they are–3
Very RespectfullyA. Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2Solon Cumins’ letter to Lincoln has not been located.
3Lincoln is referencing a lawsuit involving John H. Kemper, Adam Adams, and John Bovey. Kemper recovered a judgment against William F. Bradshaw, and the U.S. marshal sold Bradshaw's land in Ogle County, Illinois, to satisfy the judgment. Bradshaw conveyed the land to Adams and Bovey. Adams and Bovey had possession of the land that Kemper claimed to own by virtue of the judgment. Kemper sued Adams and Bovey in an action of ejectment in the U.S. Circuit Court, District of Illinois, to remove them from the property. Adams and Bovey retained Lincoln, Thomas J. Turner, and Cumins; Kemper retained Stephen T. Logan. Lincoln and his fellow attorneys for the defense argued that the time during which Kemper could sue had expired. The Circuit Court found for Kemper. By virtue of an act promulgated in March 1839, the losing party in an ejectment case was entitled to one new trial simply by paying the court costs, and Adams and Bovey paid the costs and motioned for a new trial. The court granted the motion, and the jury found for Kemper. Adams and Bovey apparently sued Kemper for an injunction to stop the execution of the judgment, and in March 1858, the U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of Illinois, ruled for Adams and Bovey. Lincoln received $100 for his legal services.
As indicated in a letter to Turner, Lincoln first became involved in the lawsuit in December 1849. Lincoln corresponded with Turner, Cumins, Adams, and Bovey many times about this case.
Cumins’ reply to Lincoln has not been located.
For all of the extant letters related to this case, see Kemper v. Adams & Bovey, 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=140935.

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Box 4, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).