12 February 2009
[LINCOLN, Abraham]. GREEN, Bowling, New Salem Justice of the Peace, Lincoln associate. Autograph affadavit signed ("Bowling Green, J.P.") as Justice of the Peace, n.p. [New Salem or Springfield, Illinois?], 29 May 1835.
1 page, an oblong (4¼ x 8 in.), partial split along horizontal fold.
LINCOLN APPRAISES A RUNAWAY HORSE. "Taken up by James Eastep on his farm on Crain Creek, one Chestnut Sorrel Horse Seven or Eight years old...a star on his forehead no brands perceivable appraised to $35.00 by A. Lincoln and James F. Halsey."
An early legal document penned by Bowling Green, noting the capture of a valuable stray horse without identifying brand, for which Lincoln and a neighbor provide a formal appraisal. The 26-year old Lincoln was at this early date the deputy surveyor and since Fall 1834 had served as Sangamon County's representative in the Illinois House of Representatives. Runaway horses, when "taken up" were informally appraised by local citizens and authorities. E.S. Miers records a nearly identical appraisal involving Lincoln: on 14 November 1834, at Clary's Grove, Lincoln and Samuel Hill appraised for $30.00 a "two year old brown filly taken up by Thomas Dowell." Attempts were made to identify the horse's owners, but if unclaimed, the horse became the property of the finder. This appraisal document is printed, from a photo, in Miers, Lincoln Day by Day, p.49. "The close attachment of Lincoln to Bowling Green is well known..." (D. Wilson, Lincoln before Washington, p.86); it was Green who helped Lincoln through his deep depression following the death of Ann Rutledge.
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