John L. Loughborough to Abraham Lincoln, 12 October 18551Surveyor General's Office,
Saint Louis, 12th October 1855.Sir:
In compliance with your request of the 10th instant I herewith send you a diagram "of each quarter section, and fractional quarter section, upon which by Brown's survey any Peoria French claim is located".2
The fee due to the clerks who made the work is $4.00, which I will thank you to remit.I am very respectfully, Sir,
your obedient ServantA. Lincoln, Esqr[Esquire]Springfield, Illinois.
2This diagram has not been located.
French immigrants settled in Illinois early in its history. During the War of 1812, American forces burned Peoria and displaced its French settlers. In 1820 and again in 1823, Congress offered the French settlers claims to their former property. The land at the time had very little value, and many immigrants had moved away and did not accept the offer. However, land prices eventually increased, and by the 1830s and 1840s, surveyors made plats based on the French claims, resulting in disputes between original settlers and the current owners. One such case was Papin v. Hall, for which Abraham Lincoln served as a co-attorney with Orville H. Browning on behalf of William A. Hall against Joseph L. Papin, an original claimant. In July 1858, the U.S. Circuit Court, Northern District of Illinois decided for Papin. Hall appealed the judgment to the U. S. Supreme Court. In December 1860, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the circuit court.
Joseph C. Brown, a deputy from the Surveyor General’s office at St. Louis, created a survey that included these French claims.
Newspaper Report, Document ID: 132934; Newspaper Report, Document ID: 132935, Papin v. Hall, 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=137735; Hall v. Papin, 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=137736; “An Act for the Relief of the Inhabitants of the Village of Peoria, in the State of Illinois,” 15 May 1820, Statutes at Large of the United States, 3 (1846):605; “An Act to Confirm Certain Claims to Lotts [Lots] in the Village of Peoria, in the State of Illinois,” 3 March 1823, Statutes at Large of the United States 3 (1846):786-87; C. Ballance, The History of Peoria, Illinois (Peoria: N. C. Nason, 1870), 193-95.
Pressbook Copy, 1 page(s), Register of Letters Received at the Office of the Surveyor General 1854-1859, Missouri State Archives (Jefferson City, MO).