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Abraham Lincoln to John L. Loughborough, 10 October 18551
Surveyor General:St Louis, Mo,,Sir:
Will you please send me a statement of each quarter Section, and fractional quarter Section, upon which, by Brown's survey, any Peoria French claim is laid?2 Your reasonable charge for the same shall be promptly paid–
Your Obt Servt[Obedient Servant]A. Lincoln
<Page 2>
[docketing]
10/10/1855
10 October 1855
A Lincoln
Springfield, Illinois
wants a statement of location of Peoria lots in relation to public [River?].3
[endorsement]
10/12/1855
Matter attended to 12 October 18554
fee $4.00.
Smith, fee paid 15 Oct[October] 18555
[docketing]
10/10/1855
Received 10 October 1855,
answered.6
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2French 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. One such case was Papin v. Hall, for which Lincoln served as a co-attorney with Orville H. Browning on behalf of William A. Hall against Joseph L. Papin, an original claimant. In July 1858, the U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of Illinois 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.
Joseph C. Brown, a deputy from the Surveyor General’s office at St. Louis, created a survey that included these French claims.
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; “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; C. Ballance, The History of Peoria, Illinois (Peoria: N. C. Nason, 1870), 193-95.
3An unknown person wrote this docketing.
5John L. Loughborough wrote this endorsement. Smith could not be positively identified.
6Loughborough wrote this docketing.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), St. Clair County Historical Society (Belleville, IL).