Abraham Lincoln to Orville H. Browning, 15 December 18561
Dear Browning:
Your letter, requesting me to send you a document of John M. Walker, is received– I received it Saturday;2 and I took a long hunt hunt for the paper yesterday; but could not find it– In fact I have no recollection of ever having had it– When I tried the cases once with Mr Williams at Chicago in July 1855, I wrote Mr Walker a very full statement of the condition of the case, as I then understood it–3 If he still has the statement, it might be of some service–
It has been suggested by some of our friends that during the session of the Legislature here this winter, the Republicans, ought to get up a sort of party State address; and again it has been suggested that you could draw up such a thing as well if not better than any of us– Think about it–4
Yours as everA. Lincoln

<Page 2>
[ docketing ]
A Lincoln5
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2Orville H. Browning’s letter to Lincoln has not been located.
John M. Walker could not be positively identified. It is possible that this letter is related to a letter William H. Randolph wrote to both Lincoln and Stephen T. Logan on December 15, 1854, referring a John M. Walker of McDonough County, Illinois to them as a client.
3No correspondence between Lincoln and John M. Walker has been located from July 1855, nor during any month in 1855. In addition, no correspondence has been located between Lincoln and Archibald Williams in July 1855 that might indicate what legal case Lincoln is discussing.
Lincoln and Williams each participated in the case Forsyth v. Peoria in Chicago, Illinois in July 1855. However, little information about the case is extant, and there is no indication in the information available that any John M. Walker was involved in the case. For details on this case, see Forsyth v. Peoria, 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=137613.
4The winter session of the Illinois General Assembly’s Twentieth Assembly convened on January 5, 1857.
Although the Republican Party lost the presidential contest in the 1856 Federal Election, it swept the races for every state office in Illinois. On January 12, 1857, the Illinois Republican Party held a celebration of these victories. Lincoln delivered an address at this event, but Browning did not. According to Browning’s diary, he did not deliver any address on behalf of the party during the winter of 1857.
Illinois Senate Journal. 1857. 20th G. A., 3; Howard W. Allen and Vincent A. Lacey, eds., Illinois Elections, 1818-1990 (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1992), 10; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 20 November 1856, 2:2; 13 January 1857, 2:2; Theodore Calvin Pease and James G. Randall, eds., The Diary of Orville Hickman Browning: Volume I, 1850-1864, vol. 20 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1925), 270-79.
5Browning wrote this docketing.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Huntington Library (San Marino, CA).