Abraham Lincoln to [John L. Miller], 21 August 18551
Herewith is the Bill– Fill in the names of the arbitrators in the blank left for that purpose– Also, get copies of your deed and bond, as indicated in the bill, mark them (A) & (B.) and file them with the Bill–2Aug 21. 1855A. Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this note. Lincoln did not include a recipient; Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, identified John L. Miller as the recipient, and documents associated with this note confirm that contention.
Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 2:319-20; Miller v. Miller, 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=137129.
2John L. Miller filled in the blanks and filed the bill and supporting documents with the Woodford County Circuit Court on August 27, 1855.
The bill and this note are associated with a lawsuit between John L. and Susan F. Miller. John L. Miller married Susan F. Rockwell in Woodford County, Illinois, on November 15, 1849. The couple lived together as husband and wife until October 31, 1852, when, according to John, Susan left the family home. Susan absented herself from home for two years, and John retained Lincoln and sued Susan in the Woodford County Circuit Court in April 1855 for divorce on the grounds of desertion. Susan answered that she left John because he mistreated her, spread illicit rumors about her, and refused to allow her to see her family. John dismissed the case but later reinstated it. At the September term of the Woodford County Circuit Court, Susan failed to appear, and the court granted the divorce.
Bill of Divorce, Document ID: 4456; Answer, Document ID: 56837; Decree, Document ID: 56854, Miller v. Miller, 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=137129.
Copy of Autograph Document Signed, 1 page(s). Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).