Abraham Lincoln to Joseph S. Copes, 2 June 18582Springfield, Ills– June 2. 1858J. S. Copes, EsqDear Sir
At length I have had an interview with Mr J. A. Pickrell, the gentleman from whom I expected to get information in relation to the land once owned by Mr Abram A. Halsey and Mr E. Lane–3 Mr Pickrell is an entirely reliable gentleman, and he tells me he knows all about the matter– He says the legal title to the land was wholly in Lane, though Halsey was the equitable owner of part of it– He says he personally knows that Lane sold and conveyed Halsey's part,4 and paid the proceeds to the Amer. Bd. Comrs for Foreign Missions; and he always understood, and now believes, this was done by Mr Halsey's direction– If so, and I have no doubt of it, this is the end of the matter–5Yours &C.[etc]A. LincolnP.S. I make no charge for what I have done.A. L.
2Abraham Lincoln wrote and signed this letter. He also wrote the letter’s postscript vertically in the letter’s left margin, shown in the image.
3On April 8, 1858, Copes had written a letter to Lincoln requesting his help ascertaining whether there was a tract of approximately 1,000 acres land in Sangamon County, Illinois that had been held jointly by Ebenezer Lane and the late Abram A. Halsey. Copes, who had custody of one of Halsey’s orphans, wanted to know the status of the title to this land, and specifically whether Halsey’s children were entitled to any of the land. Lincoln replied to Copes’ letter on April 16, noting that he had examined public land sales records to no avail but would continue investigating the matter and write Copes again.
Letter, Document ID: 130391, Copes asked Lincoln to search title to land, 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://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=141385.
4In American law, conveyance is the transfer of property ownership from one party to another via written instrument.
“Conveyance,” Reference, Glossary, Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, https://lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Reference.aspx?ref=Reference%20html%20files/Glossary.html.
Autograph Letter Signed, 1 page(s), Private Collection, Raab Collection, Philadelphia, PA.