Deed of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Lincoln to William M. Dorman, 8 April 18531
This Indenture2 made this Eighth day of April in the year of our lord, one thousand eight hundred and fifty three by and between Abraham Lincoln and Mary Lincoln his wife of the county of Sangamon and State of Illinois party of the first part and William M. Dorman of the county of Gallatin and State aforesaid party of the Second part Witnesseth
That the Said party of the first part for and in consideration of the Sum of One hundred Dollars to them in hand paid by the Said party of the Second part the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have remissed, released, and quitclaimed and by these presents do remiss release and forever quitclaim to the Said party of the Second part and his heirs and assigns forever, all the right title and interest of the Said party of the first part in and to the South East quarter of Section twenty two in Township Nine South of Range Nine East Situate in the county of Gallatin aforesaid To have & to hold to the Said party of the Second part and to his heirs and assigns forever, the above described tract of land together with all and Singular the privileges and appurtenances3 thereunto belonging
In Testimony whereof the Said party of the first part have hereunto Set their hands and Seals the day and year first above written4A. Lincoln seal Mary Lincoln seal
1This deed is attributed to Abraham and Mary Lincoln but is not written in either of their hands, nor is it signed by them.
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.
3In legal terminology, an “appurtenance” refers to “that which belongs to something else,” and “which passes as incident to it.”
Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law (St. Paul, MN: West, 1891), 83.
4Lincoln represented William M. Dorman and his wife, Nancy Dorman, in two legal cases and, in February 1845, received a mortgage on 160 acres of land near Shawneetown, Illinois in Gallatin County in order to secure his legal fee if he won their case.
In the case, John Lane sued William and Nancy Dorman in 1841 as the heirs to Christopher Robinson’s estate, which owed him $1,000. In September 1842, the Gallatin County Circuit Court ruled for Lane, and the Dormans retained Lincoln to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled for the Dormans, basing its opinion upon Lincoln’s arguments. Lincoln also successfully represented the Dormans in another Supreme Court appeal following a second attempt by Robinson’s estate and heirs to collect the debt.
Lincoln never took possession of the land the Dormans mortgaged him, and, with this deed, he and Mary Lincoln sold the land to Dorman for $100.
Harry E. Pratt, The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1943), 31-32; Dorman et ux. v. Lane, 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=137092; Dorman et ux. v. Yost, 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=137093; Daniel W. Stowell et al., eds., Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008), 1:259-300.
Copy of Handwritten Document Signed with a Representation, 1 page(s). Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).