Abraham Lincoln to George B. Kinkead, 31 March 18541Springfield, Ills. March 31– 1854Geo,, B. Kinkead, Esq[Esquire]Dear Sir:
Your note of January last, informing me that Messrs[Messieurs] Oldham & Hemingway had dismissed their suit against me, was duly received.2 I write this now merely to say that I expect and desire you to be paid a seperate fee for your attention to that suit; and to authorize you to retain what you shall deem reasonable on that account, out of any money of mine which is, or may come into your hands– If nothing further for me, is, or is likely to be in your hands, write me and I will forward you the amount–3Very truly Yours &C.[etc.]A. Lincoln
2George B. Kinkead’s January 1854 letter to Lincoln has not been located.
The case Lincoln refers to was Oldham & Hemingway v. Lincoln et al. In the case, Edward Oldham and Thomas Hemingway, the surviving partners of Oldham, Todd and Company, which had included Robert S. Todd, father of Mary Lincoln, claimed that the company had hired Lincoln and Ninian W. Edwards to collect some debts for them in Illinois. Oldham and Hemingway claimed that Lincoln, Edwards, and George B. Kinkead (who was acting as Lincoln's attorney in Lexington, Kentucky) failed to pay them $472.54. In June 1853, Oldham and Hemingway sued Lincoln and others in the Kentucky Fayette County Circuit Court in a chancery action to recover the debt. In February 1854, after depositions Lincoln took supported his version of events, Oldham and Hemingway dismissed the case.
Oldham & Hemingway v. Lincoln et al., 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=141851; Harry E. Pratt, The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1943), 118.
3Kinkead’s reply has not been located. However, a June 16, 1854 letter Lincoln wrote to Kinkead reveals that Kinkead replied to Lincoln through Edwards on June 8, 1854, sending Lincoln between $200-$300 and taking less compensation for his work on the case than Lincoln believed he deserved.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Box 4, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).