Lorenzo P. Sanger to Abraham Lincoln, 12 June 18581St. Louis June 12. 1858Hon A. LincolnDr[Dear] Sir
I intended going to Springfield to-day to see about our suit with Cochran & Hall,2 but in passing through the Steam Boat I fell through the Hatchway (10 feet) & hurt myself so severely that I am unable to get out of house, & may not be, for several days though I hope to get out early in the week.– I write to request, that in case the suit should be called that it may be put off until I am able to get there.3 Messrs[Messieurs] Stewart & Edwards told me last week that they did not think they were ready to try the case this term but should be governed by their clients–4 I know that neither party are prepared to try the case properly & if plaintiffs do not ask for a continuance, we shall– I think they will consent to a continuance, which is best for both.Truly YoursL P. SangerI have written Stuart & Edwards The case can be settled if we meet.5
2Sanger was a defendant in the case of Cochran & Hall v. Camp et al. in which Abraham Lincoln was one of the attorneys for the defendants. The case commenced in the U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of Illinois in October, 1855 and concerned a dispute over ownership of lands near the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad. The firms of H. C. Seymour & Company and Sanger, Camp & Company had joined together to purchase $6,000 worth of U.S. government land warrants for 1,080 acres along the railroad for the purpose of land speculation. Irvin Camp, a partner in Sanger, Camp & Co., held the title to the warrants in order to locate the land and purchased the property in his own name. George W. Cochran and James C. Hall acquired H. C. Seymour & Co.’s interest in the lands and subsequently claimed that they had not received their due percentage of the land and sued to convey the 1,080 acres. Camp retained Lincoln and William H. Herndon, who were unable to effect a compromise but continued as attorneys in the case until Lincoln’s election as president in 1860.
In February of 1858 Camp had also written Lincoln about this case, and enclosed a letter from Newton D. Strong, another attorney for the defendants.
Cochran & Hall v. Camp et al., 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=137521.
3Cochran & Hall v. Camp et al. was continued at the 1858 June term of the U.S. Circuit Court for the Southern District of Illinois, with Lincoln’s fellow counsel Joseph G. Bowman listed as the defendants’ attorney of record at that time. The case was continued several more times before being settled in June of 1863, when the court found for the plaintiff and ordered Camp to convey his interest to Cochran, who had purchased Hall’s interest.
Judge's Docket, Document ID: 63324; Decree, Document ID: 63325; Decree, Document ID: 63366, Cochran & Hall v. Camp et al., 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=137521.
4John T. Stuart and Benjamin S. Edwards were two of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in Cochran & Hall v. Camp et al.
Cochran & Hall v. Camp et al., 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=137521.
5No response to this letter by Lincoln or further correspondence between Sanger and Lincoln on this subject has been located.
Autograph Letter Signed, 2 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).