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Fragment of Abraham Lincoln to Unknown, [November 1843 - May 1847]1
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I have been at a good deal of pains to get the information you want. As I now understand it, Shoudy assigned to Fogg, three notes on Constant, two of them for $150 each, one due one year after date, & the other due in two years, both dated May 9th 1839,– the other for $45– due one year after date, dated May 10th 1839– on the last, there is a credit of $18–00, as of June 16th 1841– Constant had a mortgage against White to secure four notes, the three of them, for $250 each, and the fourth for $450– he sold three of the notes & retained one of the $250 ones– The mortgaged property was sold on the 27th day of August 1844. for $550– and it has not been redeemed– It was sold for the ratable benefit of these four notes; and consequently the ratio of the 250 note retained by Constant goes to Fogg– It's ratio, as I count it, is $114.581/3 cents, to be credited on the Shoudy notes as of date 27th August 1844– The ballance of those notes remain unpaid– This . . .
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1Abraham Lincoln wrote the first page of this letter; pages two and three are in a different hand. The top and the bottom have been cut off.
The recipient and the date of this letter is uncertain. Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, has John Constant as the recipient, without attribution, but this seems unlikely, given how Lincoln refers to Constant in the manuscript. Another possibility is Andrew Fogg, for whom Lincoln wrote a judgement decree in 1847 in a legal proceeding involving Constant.
Basler postulates that Lincoln wrote the letter sometime after August 27, 1844, again without attribution. The letter’s tone and contents give some credence to Basler’s view, but Lincoln could have easily written the manuscript anytime after November 1843, when Constant received a judgment in a lawsuit against John White. The editors believe the evidence suggests that Lincoln wrote this letter sometime after Constant’s judgment in November 1843 and before he wrote the judgment for Fogg in May 1847.
Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 8:421; Constant v. White, 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=138889; Lincoln wrote judgment decree for Fogg, 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=141251.
2White gave Constant four promissory notes totaling $1,200 and secured them with a mortgage on one acre and four lots in Springfield, Illinois. After White failed to pay, Constant retained Logan & Lincoln and sued White in an action of scire facias to foreclose the mortgage. Logan & Lincoln pleaded the case in the Sangamon County Circuit Court in November 1843. White defaulted, and the court ruled for Constant and awarded $1,266.16. The court ordered the sheriff to sell the land to pay the judgment. Constant purchased the property at public auction and deeded 7/12 of the land to Fogg and 5/12 to a certain Williams, to whom he was indebted. The court gave White fifteen months to redeem the property. George W. Shoudy held a note against Constant and assigned the note to Fogg. Constant's land transfer to Fogg was not sufficient to pay his debt to Fogg, and Fogg filed a claim against Shoudy's estate to recover the debt on Constant's note. Lincoln wrote the judgment decree for Fogg as the basis of Fogg's claim against Shoudy's estate. Fogg received $92.17 from Shoudy's estate.
Constant v. White, 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=138889; Lincoln wrote judgment decree for Fogg, 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=141251.

Copy of Fragment of Handwritten Letter, 3 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Association Files, Lincoln Collection, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL)