Abraham Lincoln to Albert Parker, 10 August 18581
Albert Parker, Esq[Esquire]My dear Sir
Yours of the 7th is just received– I am greatly hurried, for which reason you will pardon me for not writing a longer letter– As to the law-question– As the consideration of the notes, Gridley will insist they were given because of his acting as agent for the makers of the notes, in purchasing the land; and I rather think this will make out a legal consideration–2
As to politics I am doing what I can for the cause– They have a meeting at Tremont on Saturday the 14th and I wish you would go down and mingle with your old friends upon that occasion–3
Again let me beg you to excuse the shortness of this letter–
Yours very trulyA. Lincoln4
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
2In his letter to Lincoln of August 7, 1858, Albert Parker had asked Lincoln’s opinion in regards to lawsuits instituted by Asahel Gridley against Livingston County residents who had purchased land from the Illinois Central Railroad Company through Gridley’s agency. Gridley had filed one such suit against Parker on August 6, 1858, in Livingston County Circuit Court. In March of 1856 Parker had given Gridley two notes; one note was made out to the Illinois Central Railroad Company for $300 in exchange for the tract of land that Parker was then purchasing, and the second note was made out to Gridley for $300. Parker claimed that his understanding was that this note to Gridley was also made in consideration for the purchase of the land, as he understood Gridley to be an agent of the railroad. Gridley maintained that he had not claimed to be an agent of the railroad, but was instead acting on behalf of Parker and that the $300 note from Parker to him represented his commission for handling the transaction.
In a legal context, “consideration” is a thing such as an act or a forbearance that a promisor bargains for and receives from a promisee and “want of consideration” is a lack of consideration in a contract. Without consideration, an agreement is unenforceable. Parker had queried Lincoln whether he and the other land owners being sued by Gridley could claim want of consideration.
Lincoln provided legal opinion to Parker, 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), https://lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141560; Bryan A. Garner, et al., eds., Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed. (n.p.: Thomson Reuters, 2014), 370, 1815.
3Lincoln had been nominated at the 1858 Illinois Republican Convention to run against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate. At this time the Illinois General Assembly elected the state’s representatives in the U.S. Senate, thus the outcome of races for the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate were of importance to Lincoln’s campaign. Lincoln and Douglas both focused their campaign efforts on the former Whig stronghold of central Illinois, where the state legislative races were the closest. Lincoln had been invited to speak at the Republican meeting that was proposed to be held in Tremont on August 14, 1858, but was unable to attend due to a conflict. He spoke instead at a convention of the Republicans of Tazewell County in Tremont on August 30.
Allen C. Guelzo, “Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858,” The Journal of American History 94 (September 2007), 394, 400-401; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:457-58, 476-77; Daniel A. Cheever to Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to Daniel A. Cheever; Abraham Lincoln to Daniel A. Cheever; Summary of Speech at Tremont, Illinois; Summary of Speech at Tremont, Illinois; The Lincoln Log: A Daily Chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln, 30 August 1858, https://www.thelincolnlog.org/Results.aspx?type=CalendarDay&day=1858-08-30.
4No response to this letter by Parker has been located.

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