Description[Mary Todd Lincoln] Edwin B. Webb, Illinois Legislator and Suitor of Mary Todd, Autograph Letter Signed "E. B. Webb", asking for details of a sheriff's tax title deed so that he can examine it at the recorder's office, one-half page, 7.5" x 12", Carmi (Ill.), 19 June 1848, to B.P. Hinch, New Haven, Ill., with manuscript postmark overleaf. Webb was a Whig colleague of Lincoln in the state legislature and a fellow presidential elector in 1840. Known as the "Beau Brummel of Springfield", he pursued Mary Todd with enough ardor in 1840-41 that she wrote about it to a friend, calling Webb a "winning widower" of "modest merit", but too old, and with children who were "sweet little objections" to any love-match. She also intimated that someone -- doubtless Lincoln - "strangely imagined" she and Webb were "attached to each other", but once she had married the future president she was not afraid to tease him about her former "flirtation". A very unusual and uncommon Mary Lincoln association autograph. Toned with spot left by the red seal; fine.
Together with Jacob M. Early Partly Printed Bill Signed as endorsement on verso, 7.5" x 3", Springfield, Ill., 1 May 1833. The bill charges "Ridgeway (son in law Cantrall, deceased)" for $8 for "medicine & attendance." It seems to have been converted to use as a draft; there are a couple of endorsements on verso, one signed "J.M. Early / August 12th 1833" Early was a Methodist Episcopal preacher as well as a physician. He settled in Springfield just before the Black Hawk War and led a regiment in that conflict, with one of his recruits being young Abraham Lincoln of New Salem. In1838 Early was mortally wounded in a politically-motivated altercation with a young man named Henry B. Truett. Lincoln served as one of Truett's defense attorneys, while the prosecution was originally led by Stephen A. Douglas - one of the few times the two great debaters ever met in court (it was also Lincoln's first murder trial). Lincoln succeeded in winning an acquittal on the ground that Early had held a "deadly weapon": a chair. That the chair was surely meant as a shield against Truett's weapon - a pistol - didn't faze the jury. Toned; fine.
Together with Archer G. Herndon Autograph Letter Signed "A. G. Herndon", one and one-fourth pages, 8" x 9.75", Springfield (Ill.), 11 September 1858, to Sidney Breese. Herndon was an Illinois legislator and the father of Lincoln's last law partner and pioneering biographer, William H. Herndon. He acknowledges a letter by which he was "grateful to find that you had not lost all confidence in our success. . . . I still believe that something will take place which will defeat Douglas. His election would be a curse to the party and a disgrace to the administration and ought to be an . . . everlasting damnation to state and party that elects him." Archer Herndon had been a member of the "Long Nine", the group of unusually tall legislators from Sangamon County -- including Lincoln -- who under his leadership engineered the removal of the Illinois state capital from Vandalia to Springfield. A choice comment written at the height of the Senatorial contest between Lincoln and Douglas. Some separation beginning at folds. Some chipping and discoloration along edges. Very good.
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