Abraham Lincoln to Lyman Porter and Company, 19 July 18571
Messrs[Messieurs] Porter & CoMackinawTazewell Co. IllsGentlemen
Owing to my absence, yours of the 6th Inst with inclosures were not received till yesterday–2 The circuits are so divided now that I can not attend the Tazewell court, regularly if at all, any more–3 I therefore think you better have a lawyer that can certainly attend to it– If Prettyman can not give his attention to carry it through, I think Mr Roberts, at Pekin, is getting to be a quite safe lawyer–
I return you the inclosures–4
Yours trulyA. Lincoln
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2Neither Lyman Porter and Company’s July 6, 1857 letter to Lincoln, nor the enclosures included in the letter have been located.
3From 1839 onward, Lincoln practiced law in IllinoisEighth Judicial Circuit, which initially comprised an area larger than the state of Rhode Island but shifted in size over time in tandem with population growth. Although Lincoln rode the entire circuit, he concentrated his practice in Sangamon, Tazewell, Logan, and McLean counties. In February 1857, however, the Illinois General Assembly reorganized the Eighth Judicial Circuit, moved Sangamon County into the newly-created Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, and moved Tazewell County into the newly-created Twenty-First Judicial Circuit.
Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:322; Narrative Overview, 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/Reference.aspx?ref=Reference%20html%20files/NarrativeOverview.html; “An Act Establishing the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit,” 7 February 1857 Laws of Illinois (1857), 8-9; “An Act Declaring What Counties Shall Compose the Eighth Judicial Circuit, and Fix the Times of Holding the Courts and Regulate the Practice in Said Circuit,” 11 February 1857 Laws of Illinois (1857), 12-14; “An Act to Establish the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit,” 11 February 1857, Laws of Illinois (1857), 14-16.
4No further correspondence between Lincoln and Lyman Porter and Company has been located. It is unknown whether Benjamin S. Prettyman or James Roberts took on the case in question.
Lincoln declined legal work from Lyman Porter and Co., 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=141792.

Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).