Abraham Lincoln to Joseph Means, 11 May 18581Springfield, May 11. 1858Joseph MeansDear Sir
The statements made within, if true are evidence of fraud on the part of the executor in selling the land–2 Fraud, by the principles of law, invalidates everything– To get rid of this sale, a bill in chancery is to be filed, charging the fraud, and then, if the fraud can be proved, the sale will be set aside– This is all that can be said– Any lawyer will know how to do it–3Yours &c[etc]A. Lincoln
2The letter from Joseph Means to Lincoln has not been found, but he evidently requested legal advice from Lincoln relating to fraud by an executor in regard to selling land. The property in question may have been owned by Means’ widowed daughter.
Lincoln provided legal advice to Means, 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=141532; Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 2:446.
Copy of Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).