Decree in Gundy v. Gundy, [23 October 1851]1
|John Van Gundy|
I This day came the parties, and the complainant having filed an amended Bill since the last term of this court, it is, by agreement, ordered that defendant’s answer to the original Bill stand as an answer to the amended Bill so far as it applies, and so much of said amended Bill as said answer does not apply to, is to be considered as traversed generally; that a general Replication be considered as filed, and the cause stand for hearing at the next term, to which it is now continued–2
Enter thisD Davis
1Abraham Lincoln wrote the text of this decree. David Davis wrote “Enter this” and signed his name.
Lincoln did not date this decree, and its actual date remains a mystery. Editors of Lincoln Day by Day dated it October 23, 1851, inferring this date from the Vermilion County Circuit Court records. Editors of the Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln examined the court records and, absent any additional evidence, kept this date. The editors have retained this date.
Earl Schenck Miers, ed., Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology, 1809-1865, Volume 2: 1849-1860, by William E. Baringer (Washington, DC: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission, 1960), 62; Decree, Document ID: 59226, Gundy v. Gundy, 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=137301.
2Joseph Gundy and John Van Gundy entered into the business of selling hogs and cattle in the fall of 1847. In December 1848, they dissolved the partnership. Joseph Gundy sued John Van Gundy in a chancery action in the Vermilion County Circuit Court to settle the partnership. Joseph Gundy also sued John Van Gundy in a separate common law action (Gundy v. Gundy). In this case, Joseph Gundy claimed that John Van Gundy owed him $200 for 1,000 bushels of corn; $200 for 110 hogs sold; and an additional amount for twenty-four steers. John Van Gundy retained Lincoln and answered that Joseph Gundy owed him money from the partnership and filed a cross-bill to obtain the sum. The lawsuit commenced in October 1850, and in May 1852, the parties reached a settlement in which the court ruled for Joseph Gundy and ordered John Van Gundy to pay him $415.
For amended bill of complaint, cross-bill, replications, final decree, and other documents associated with this case, see Gundy v. Gundy, 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=137301.
Handwritten Document Signed, 1 page(s), Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress (Washington, DC).