[Abraham Lincoln] John D. Johnston, Stepbrother of Abraham Lincoln. Document Signed "J.D. Johnston", 1 page, 7.5" x 12.5", n.p. [Coles County, Illinois], June 30, 1841. An appeal bond signed by Johnston, Isaac Allison, Ira Higgins and Mary Jane Duncan (who signs with her mark). Duncan had been convicted by a "jury of six lawful men" of "assaulting & beating Margaret Webster" and been fined $7 and costs of suit, "from which judgment [she]...has taken an appeal to the Circuit Court" of Coles County. Duncan and her cosigners bind themselves to pay $22.50 if the appeal is not successful. Small tear at top left corner, with light dampstaining along left margin.

    John D. Johnston (1810-1854) grew up with Lincoln from the time they were both about nine years old. Although they seem to have gotten along well as youngsters, as they matured and grew apart Lincoln was sometimes exasperated by Johnston's shiftless ways. He wrote him several oft-quoted letters of rebuke, one of which told Johnston that work was "the only cure" for his case. Johnston farmed indifferently, distilled and sold whiskey, and was known as a flashy dresser. Twice married, he eventually moved to Missouri, against Lincoln's advice, and died there impoverished.

    Roy P. Crocker Collection, sold by Sotheby-Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, 28 November 1979, lot 123.

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