Lewis W. Ross and George W. Stipp to Abraham Lincoln, 25 March 1853Lewistown, March 25– 1853–Mr. A. Lincoln Esqr.[Esquire]Dear Sir,
we wrote to you some time previous to the last term of the U.S. Dist Court– to Attend to a suit for us in said Court– Ejectment Northrup vs Reynolds et al–1 Please write us as to the situation of the cause now, and what was done in it last term2Yours trulyRoss & Stipp
I have to beg your pardon for not having wrote you before on the subject of the within– The rule to plead had expired months before you wrote me &, I presume, months before you were employed–
Mr Lawrence, who was for the plff– said if he did not believe it was the deft's[defendant] own default, he would not hold on to it; but as it was, he would–A. Lincoln3
3Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this endorsement.
The precise date of Lincoln’s endorsement is unknown, but he probably penned it after the end of the spring term of the U.S. Circuit Court, District of Illinois, and before he left Springfield to conduct legal business on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Lewis W. Ross and George W. Stipp wrote Lincoln four days after the U.S. Circuit Court convened in Springfield. Lincoln and his partner William H. Herndon had a heavy court schedule during the period from March 25 to April 2, when the court recessed, leaving Lincoln little time for a response. On April 4, moreover, Mary Lincoln gave birth to Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s fourth son. On April 10, Abraham left Springfield to ride the circuit, returning home on or around June 6. Lincoln mostly likely answered Ross and Stipp between April 3 and 9, 1853.
Ross and Stipp requested Lincoln’s assistance in an ejectment case involving Thomas J. Northrup. As indicated in Lincoln’s endorsement, the court found in favor of Northrup, the plaintiff, by default.
Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 2:193; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 21 March 1853, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1853-03-21; 2 April 1853, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1853-04-02; 4 April 1853, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1853-04-04; 11 April 1853, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1853-04-11; 6 June 1853, http://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1853-06-06; Lincoln conducted legal research for Ross & Stipp, 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=141325.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Galesburg Public Library (Galesburg, IL).