LINCOLN, Abraham (1809-1865). Autograph letter signed (''A. Lincoln''), with autograph postscript signed (''A.L.''), to J. S. Copes, Springfield, Illinois, 2 June 1858. 1 page, 8vo, two small ink burns on recipient's docket.
LINCOLN, Abraham (1809-1865). Autograph letter signed ("A. Lincoln"), with autograph postscript signed ("A.L."), to J. S. Copes, Springfield, Illinois, 2 June 1858. 1 page, 8vo, two small ink burns on recipient's docket.
"I MAKE NO CHARGE FOR WHAT I HAVE DONE"
Lincoln does a bit of pro bono publico work on behalf of some orphaned children in the same month that he made his House Divided speech and launched his Senatorial campaign against Stephen Douglas. He is responding to Copes letter of 8 April 1858, asking whether he could determine whether the orphans had title to a parcel of land in Sangamon County owned by their deceased father, Abram Halsey, who died insolvent. The land may have been donated to the American Board for Foreign Missions. The orphans, Copes wrote, "need anything that may be justly theirs" and he believes Lincoln is "just the person to whom they can apply..." Here Lincoln tells Copes he has interviewed "Mr. J. A. Pickrell...in relation to the land once owned by Mr. Abram A. Halsey and Mr. E. Lane. Mr. Pickrell is an entirely reliable gentleman... 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, 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." Then Lincoln adds a postscript along the left margin: "I make no charge for what I have done." Not in Basler.