Abraham Lincoln to Charles Ballance, 27 July 18551Springfield, July 27, 1855C. Ballance, Esq[Esquire]Dear Sir:
Your letters of the 23rd & 24th, the first having nothing, and the other $20 in it, are both received–2 Money is always acceptable to me; but when I left Chicago, I was not in “extremis” on that subject.3Yours as everA. Lincoln–
March. 19– 18555
March. 19– 18555
3Lincoln travelled to Chicago to attend the U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of Illinois. “Extremis” is a legal term indicating that a person is either sick, beyond hope of recovery, or near death.
Abraham Lincoln to Peter H. Watson; Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 1990), 588.
4Lincoln served as co-attorney with Orville H. Browning representing defendant William A. Hall in the case of Papin v. Hall in the U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of Illinois. In December 1854, Joseph L. Papin sued Hall for ejectment from a ten-acre lot near the old town of Peoria. The land was part of the contested French claims in Peoria. French immigrants settled in Illinois early in its history. During the War of 1812, American forces burned Peoria and displaced its French settlers. In 1820 and again in 1823, Congress offered the French settlers claims to their former property. The land at the time had very little value, and many immigrants had moved away and did not accept the offer. However, land prices eventually increased, and by the 1830s and 1840s, surveyors made plats based on the French claims, resulting in disputes between original settlers and the current owners. Hall settled the land in question in 1834, residing on it at the time of the case. In July 1858, a jury decided for Papin. Hall appealed the judgment to the U. S. Supreme Court. In December 1860, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court. Justice James M. Wayne ruled that the 1823 French claim act applied only to the new village of Peoria and that the land in question was an outlying lot in the old village of Peoria, one and a half miles away. Wayne also argued that Papin's claim to the land derived from one Francis Willette, who would have had French claim confirmations exceeding the statutory limit of ten acres.
Newspaper Report, Document ID: 132934; Newspaper Report, Document ID: 132935, Papin v. Hall, 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=137735; Hall v. Papin, 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=137736; Hall v. Papin, 65 U.S. 24 How. 132-47 (1860); “An Act for the Relief of the Inhabitants of the Village of Peoria, in the State of Illinois,” 15 May 1820, Statutes at Large of the United States, 3 (1846):605; “An Act to Confirm Certain Claims to Lotts [Lots] in the Village of Peoria, in the State of Illinois,” 3 March 1823, Statutes at Large of the United States 3 (1846):786-87.
Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).