Abraham Lincoln to [Jacob Gundy], 22 September 18451Springfield, Sept 22– 1845–Dear old friend:
Enclosed you find twentyone dollars and thirtyone cents, the full amount, after expense & postage–Very RespectfullyA. Lincoln.
1Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter.
In newspaper stories on the donation of this letter to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 1960, university officials said the recipient of this letter was Joseph Gundy, a farmer, livestock raiser, and legal client of Lincoln’s from Danville, Illinois. Joseph Gundy had supposedly given Lincoln an unspecified amount of money in order for Lincoln to pay Gundy’s state taxes. University officials suggested that the money Lincoln transmitted to Gundy was a refund for the overpayment of taxes. Roy P. Basler, editor of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, retained Joseph Gundy as the recipient and the story about tax payment in the absence of other evidence. Editors working with the Lincoln Legal Papers determined, however, that the recipient was more likely to be Jacob Gundy, a veteran of the American Revolution who sought Lincoln’s legal assistance in getting his pension payments three times in 1844 and 1845. In his application for his semi-annual pension payment for March to September 1845, Jacob Gundy identified Lincoln as his attorney who, in Gundy’s name, would receive Gundy’s pension payments from the pension agent in Springfield, Illinois. On September 20, 1845, the pension agent affixed Lincoln’s name to a receipt for $21.66—the amount of Gundy’s pension for six months. Gundy received an annual pension of $43.33.
Chicago Daily News (IL), 13 October 1960, Metropolitan Section 1:1-3; Sunday Commercial-News (Danville, IL), 2 October 1960, 23:3; Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1974), 10:8; Application for Pension Payment, Document ID: 129898, 129901, 129902; Receipt, 129903, Lincoln served as pension attorney for Gundy, 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=141265.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Illinois Historical Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL).