Abraham Lincoln to School Commissioner, 22 August 18361
Dear Sir
Something more than a year ago, at the request of the trustees, I surveyed Sec.[Section] 16 Town[Township] 19. Range 8, being in your county.2 As yet, I have been paid nothing for it. Will you be so good as to get my claim allowed at the September term of the County Commissioner's Court?
RespectfullyA. LincolnSchool commissioner
August 1835. The school fund for Township 19 North of Range 8 West
To A. Lincoln Dr
To surveying Section 16 $12.50
3
<Page 2>
Free. A. Lincoln P M[Postmaster]4
New Salem Ills
School Commissioner for Morgan countyJacksonville Ills
[docketing]
A Lincoln
a/c[account] for surveying 16th Sec in Town[Township] 19. R[Range] 8
$12.50
1Abraham Lincoln wrote all the text on page one, as well as the “Free” frank and the address on the back page.
2The land described here lies in the northeast corner of present-day Cass County. The trustees were Benjamin Sutton, James Hickey, and William Morgan.
3The Land Ordinance of 1785 reserved the sixteenth section of each full thirty-six-section township to support public schools within the township. In 1818, when Congress passed the act enabling the Illinois Territory to become a state, it granted to every township in the state the proceeds of the sale of land in each township’s Section 16. This money became known as the common school fund.
“An Act to Enable the People of the Illinois Territory to Form a Constitution and State Government, and for the Admission of Such State into the Union on an Equal Footing with the Original States,” 18 April 1818, Statutes at Large of the United States 3 (1846):428-31; W. L. Pillsbury, “Early Education in Illinois,” in Sixteenth Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Illinois (Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker, 1886), 106-07.
4The Post Office at New Salem having been closed on May 30, 1836, Lincoln was no longer technically Postmaster.

Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Private Collection (Unknown)