Abraham Lincoln to Solon Cumins, 11 March 18581Chicago, March 11. 1858Solon Cumins, Esq[Esquire]My dear Sir: Yours trulyA. Lincoln–
2Lincoln is referring to the case Kemper v. Adams & Bovey. John H. Kemper recovered a judgment against William F. Bradshaw, and the U.S. marshal sold Bradshaw's land in Ogle County, Illinois to satisfy the judgment. Bradshaw conveyed the land to Adam Adams and John Bovey. Adams and Bovey had possession of the land that Kemper claimed to own by virtue of the judgment. Kemper sued Adams and Bovey in an action of ejectment in the U.S. Circuit Court, District of Illinois to remove them from the property. Adams and Bovey retained Lincoln, Thomas J. Turner, and Solon Cumins; Kemper retained Stephen T. Logan. Lincoln and his fellow attorneys for the defense argued that the time during which Kemper could sue had expired. The Circuit Court found for Kemper. By virtue of an act promulgated in March 1839, the losing party in an ejectment case was entitled to one new trial simply by paying the court costs. Adams and Bovey paid the costs and motioned for a new trial. The court granted the motion, and the jury found for Kemper. Adams and Bovey apparently sued Kemper for an injunction to stop the execution of the judgment and, in March 1858, the U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of Illinois ruled for Adams and Bovey. Lincoln received $100 for his legal services.
As indicated in a letter to Turner, Lincoln first became involved in the lawsuit in December 1849. Lincoln corresponded with Turner, Cumins, Adams, and Bovey numerous times about this case.
For all of the extant letters related to this case, see Kemper v. Adams & Bovey, 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=140935.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s) Lincoln Collection, Chicago Historical Society (Chicago, IL).