Egbert O. Hill to Abraham Lincoln, 10 July 18581July 10th 1858Dear Sir
My father requests me to write to you for him and say that he shall depend on you to appear for me on my trial and to do all you can and he wishes you to write to him on the receipt of this letting him know what to depend on. he says tell Lincoln that he is my choice I want him and shall depend on him and he may depend on me–2
For myself I promised to write to you as soon as I could learn what their cours was giving you a full statement I saw Swett he said he thought it was unnecessary for the purpose of obtaining ayour very humble servantE. O. HillHon A. LincolnSpringfieldIlls[Illinois]
<Page 2>continwance. that we would obtain the continwance and when you come up he would let you know all and felt confident, that you would approve of it. I have see Swett but one[once] since court, he toled ^me^ then that in a short time he would give notice to take depositions. what he has done I cannot tell. I have written to him some four times but have got no answer. I depend upon you & hope you will give me your aid as there are some in this place and Bloomington who are determined to [holdn?] me down if they can. they are doing all they can. I hold some letters that I will lay before you when I see you. and if I can get the means I shall come to Springfield between this and
<Page 3>court. please write to my father. and if Swett has informed you how the case stands, and from what I have written please write me full instructions in fathers letter what course to take3
2Hill's father has not been identified.
In April 1850, Egbert O. Hill was accused of larceny after allegedly stealing a plough and clevis from William H. Hodge. He was indicted by Illinois state's attorney David B. Campbell in McLean County Circuit Court. However, Hill defaulted on his recognizance and the case was paused with the possibility for future reinstatement.
On February 16, 1859, Leonard Swett pushed for an amendment to the criminal code in the Illinois House of Representatives. His proposal, stating that "all indictments for larceny, where the property stolen does not exceed twenty dollars in value, shall be barred after seven years from the time of the finding of the indictment," passed. When the case was reinstated, Hill received a change of venue to Macon County Circuit Court and retained both Lincoln and Swett as attorneys. Since it had been more than seven years since the initial accusation, Swett's approved amendment was applicable, and the court dropped the case in July 1859.
JP Transcript, Document ID: 32192, People v. Hill, 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), https://lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=136706; Illinois House Journal. 1859. 21st G. A., 743; "An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and Increase the Punishment for Manslaughter," 19 February 1859, Laws of Illinois (1859), 125-26; Ward H. Lamon to Abraham Lincoln.
Autograph Letter Signed, 4 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).