Joseph Ledlie to Abraham Lincoln, 1
And those inclosed by Blue are those Sold by Neal to J. R Saunders and to Edwd Mitchell
The above is the result of a careful examination of the Record and without making any Survey– I leave it entirely to your better judgment to Say whether it will be worth while to make a Survey–
It is my opinion that the discrepancies in the description of the Land purchased and that Sold by Neal is owing entirely to mistakes in making former SurveysYours &c[etc.] &cJoseph LedlieHon. A. Lincoln
Neal to Adams– Beginning at the south West corner of Jonathan Saunders’ land– Situated in the SW[Southwest] qr.[quarter] aforesaid– thence Easterly with said Saunders’ land so far as to [Cass?] on to the S. W.[Southwest] Cor. [Corner]of a ten acre field owned by the said Adams twenty feet, thence south 30 feet. thence Westwardly parallel with the first line to the said Neal’s west line, thence North 30 feet to the place of beginning.2
Plat of Land For A. Lincoln Esqr[Esquire]
1Joseph Ledlie wrote and signed this letter.
The exact date of this letter is unknown, but Ledlie most likely wrote it sometime in 1850 in response to a document Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1850.
2The tract referenced was in Springfield, Illinois. Thomas M. Neale had been the surveyor for Sangamon County responsible for surveying the land donated to secure the county seat for Springfield. Lincoln had served as Neale’s assistant. At the time of his correspondence with Lincoln, Ledlie was the county surveyor.
Ledlie wrote this letter as part of property disputes that Lincoln was handling for Harriet B. Neale, Thomas M. Neale’s widow. In November 1850, Harriet B. Neale retained Lincoln & Herndon and sued Grover Ayers and Isaac S. Britton in actions of ejectment in the Sangamon County Circuit Court for unlawfully withholding property from her. In both cases, the parties reached an agreement, and the court awarded the properties to Ayres and Britton, respectively. Lincoln took no fee from Mrs. Neale.
On March 11, 1851, Lincoln wrote Ledlie regarding these cases.
John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:159; John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 539-40; Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 1:78-79; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 689; Neale v. Ayres, 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=139963; Neale v. Britton, 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=139965.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), SC899, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, IL).