Elisha Harkness to Abraham Lincoln, 17 June 1850
Abraham Lincoln Esqr[Esquire]Dear Sir
I wrote you by last mail & inadvertently omitted to enclose the 5,00 I had intended, & as I wrote you–1 I enclose the sum now, please write to me in answer to the interrogations contained in that. I wrote you that during the life of one Charles Tiernan himself & wife mortgaged to Baker & co.2 several town lots & two tracts of land, to secure the payment of 1300.00# After Tiernans death no part of the debt being paid– the mortgage was foreclosed– & I bought two of the town lots,– I understand the widow contemplates redeeming one of the lots– Can she redeem one lot without redeeming all! What Interest will she acquire by the redemption of the property– The estate is utterly insolvent– If she redeems will that create an equitable lien on the fee simple, that may be discharged by the Creditors on application in chancery– & the land then sold by the admr[administrator] subject to this lien, for the benefit of the creditors– please address me in full on this subject3
Yours truly Elisha HarknessThe error in not sending the five dollars in the first letter was done by W D Somers Esqr. I spoke to him to write to you for me and told him when he got the letter written I would hand him the money & He forgot it YoursE. Harkness
Paid 5
A. LincolnAttorney at LawSpringfield Ills
1Elisha Harkness’ letter has not been located.
2Baker & Co. could not be positively identified.
3Abraham Lincoln’s response to this letter, if he wrote one, has not been located. Lincoln and Harkness did not correspond further on this subject, so the extent of Lincoln’s involvement in this case and its final disposition is unknown.
Charles Tiernan died intestate, and in November 1846, Harkness was among the appraisers charged with gathering and appraising his assets. In December 1850, the Champaign County Court appointed William D. Somers administrator of his estate.
For documentation on Tiernan’s estate, see his Probate File, Illinois, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999, Champaign County (Provo, UT: Ancestry.Com Operations, 2015).

Handwritten Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).