Mortgage Deed from Jacob Ruckel and Laura Ruckel to Abraham Lincoln, 28 September 18571
This Indenture made this twentyeighth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fiftyseven by and between Jacob Ruckel, and Laura A. Ruckel, his wife, of the City of Springfield in the State of Illinois, party of the first part; and Abraham Lincoln, of the City and State aforesaid, party of the second part, Witnesseth:
That the said party of the first part,2 for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars to them in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have granted, bargained, and sold; and by these presents do grant, bargain, and sell unto the party of the second part, his heirs and assigns forever, the following described real estate, towit: One hundred and two feet from East to West, of the East parts of Lots Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen, in Block Four, in E. Illes’ Addition to the late town, now City of Springfield
To have and to hold to the said party of the second party, his heirs and assigns forever, the above described real estate, together with all and singular the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging–3
Yet upon the condition that whereas the above named Jacob Ruckel has executed his promissory note of even date herewith, for the sum of five hundred dollars, payable to the said Abraham Lincoln, one year after date, with interest thereon at the rate of ten per cent per annum, from date until paid, for valued received– Now if said note and interest shall be fully paid
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according to the tenor and effect of said note, the above conveyance is to be void; otherwise to remain in full force and effect–
In testimony whereof the said party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals, the day and year first above written.4
J. Ruckel5
L. A. Ruckel6
[ certification ]
State of Illinois
Sangamon County
Before me the undersigned clerk of the county court for said county do hereby Certify that personally appeared Jacob Ruckel and Laura A Ruckell his wife who are personally known to me to be the real persons by whom and in whose names the foregoing deed of Mortgage is Subscribed and by whom and in whose names the same is proposed to be acknowledged and severally acknowledged the execution of the same to be their free and voluntary act and deed for the use and purposes therein named
And the said Laura A [...?] Ruckel wife of the said Jacb Ruckel being by me examined separate and apart from her said husband and the contents of said conveyance being explained to her acknowledged that she executed said deed freely and voluntarily for the use and purposes therein named and relinquished her right and claim of Dower to said premises7
Given under my hand and seal of office at springfield this 28th day of September AD 1857N W Matheny Clk[Clerk]8

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[ enclosure ]
09/28/1857Promissory Note of Jacob Ruckel to Abraham Lincoln
One year after date I promise to pay Abraham Lincoln five hundred dollars, together with interest thereon at the rate of ten per cent per annum from date until paid, for value received–9
J. Ruckel.10
[ endorsement ]
Recd[Received] Jny 29, 1864 of J. Ruckel Six Hundred sixty seven & 05/100 dols[dollars] in full of the Note
Robt Irwin agt[agent] of A. Lincoln–11
[ endorsement ]
NB12 dont Record the note13

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[ certification ]
State of Illinois }
Sangamon County
I Presco Wright Clerk of the Circuit Court for the County aforesaid & Ex officio Recorder of Deeds &c[etc] &c do hereby Certify that the within Mortgage is duly Recorded in my office in Record Book No 3 of Mortgages pages 423 & 424.
Presco Wright Clerk & Ex[Ex officio] R [Recorder]S C14
[ endorsement ]
Nov: 27– 1858. Received on the within fifty dollars, being first years’ interest–
Secnd[Second] years Int.[Interest] also paid.
[ endorsement ]
Nov. 17. 1860– Received fifty dollars third year’s interest–15
[ docketing ]
Jacob Ruckel & Wife }
To Mortgage Deed
Abraham Lincoln16
[ docketing ]
Filed for Record at 10. oclock A–M
September 29th 1857
Fee $–7517
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the text of this mortgage deed.
2This is a reference to both Jacob Ruckel and Laura A. Ruckel.
3In legal terminology, an “appurtenance” refers to “that which belongs to something else,” and “which passes as incident to it.”
Henry Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed. (St. Paul, MN: West, 1979), 94.
4This loan constituted a mortgage for four lots of land that Jacob had acquired from the estate of his brother, Daniel E. Ruckel. Jacob and Laura Ruckel agreed to repay this mortgage, plus ten percent annual interest, within one year. As notations and endorsements on this document reveal, this mortgage was extended but eventually paid in full. As shown in the fourth image, Jacob made the first year’s interest payment on November 27, 1858, paid the second year’s interest at some point (Lincoln did not note the date), and paid the third year’s interest on November 17, 1860. Lincoln then left the note with Robert Irwin, cashier of the Springfield Marine and Fire Insurance Company, who collected the loan’s principle and remaining interest totaling $667.05 on January 29, 1864, as shown in the third image. Irwin released the mortgage the same day.
In August 1851, Lincoln had also loaned Daniel Ruckel funds for several lots of land in Springfield that Daniel wished to purchase, but Daniel died before he could repay that mortgage debt in full. Jacob and Richard H. Beach administered Daniel’s estate.
Harry E. Pratt, The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln (Springfield: The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1943), 74-75; Receipt of Abraham Lincoln to Jacob Ruckel; Check of Abraham Lincoln to Jacob Ruckel; Receipt for Notes Left with Robert Irwin for Collection; Promissory Note of Daniel E. Ruckel to Abraham Lincoln; Release of Mortgage Taken from Daniel E. Ruckel; Illinois, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999, 17 April 1854, Sangamon County (Provo, UT: Operations, 2015).
5Jacob Ruckel signed his own name.
6Laura Ruckel signed her own name.
7Dower was a form of estate that provided for a widow’s needs out of her husband's real and personal property, and such property was not subject to creditor’s demands. In antebellum Illinois, the widow of a man with children received one-third of the land that her husband owned at any time during their marriage for the rest of her life, unless she relinquished her dower rights in the prescribed manner. If her deceased husband had no children, the widow received outright ownership of one-half of the estate.
This land would have become part of the right of dower to which Laura was entitled, should she be widowed, but she relinquished her claim of right of dower with this section of the deed.
“Dower,” Reference, Glossary, 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),
8Noah W. Matheny wrote the text on the page shown in the second image, from “State of Illinois” to “said premises.”
9Lincoln wrote the text in this section, shown at the top of the third image, starting with “$500” and ending with “for value received—”.
10Jacob Ruckel signed his own name.
11Irwin wrote this endorsement and signed his name.
12“N.B.” is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase nota bene, meaning “note well” or “note specifically.” It is often used to draw special attention to a point.
Lesley Brown, ed., The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 2:1944.
13Matheny most likely wrote this endorsement as well.
14Presco Wright wrote this certification and signed his name.
15Lincoln wrote each of these endorsements regarding interest payments.
16Lincoln wrote this docketing as well.
17Matheny also wrote this docketing in pencil, shown in the fourth image.

Copy of Handwritten Document Signed, 4 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).