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    Abraham Lincoln. Unsigned Autograph Document. Vermilion Co., Ill., 3 June 1853, three and one-quarter pages, folio. A long, involved affidavit by Daniel Sturm, principal defendant in a lawsuit brought by John S. Graham, guardian of the minors Mary J., Marena E., and Sarah M. French. Sturm recalls coming to Danville, Ill. from his residence in Indiana to see his attorney, W.H. Lamon, and declares that they could not procure a copy of the bill in Graham's suit at either the offices of the court clerk or the plaintiff's attorney, O.L. Davis. Sturm "remained in Danville over night, and in the morning again saw said Lamon, who again told him that said bill could not be found, upon which affiant returned to Indiana…[A] week or two afterwards affiant wrote to Mr. Davis, enquiring whether said bill had been found, but got no answer…" Sturm and the plaintiff subsequently "agreed upon terms of adjustment, except that complainant reserved to himself to go to Mr. Davis and ascertain whether he would approve of said adjustment; at the same time promising…he would return and inform affiant of the result, and also…of the true time of said term of court, about which there then was some question in the minds of both…" Graham did not however return, and near the end of the court term Sturm "was astounded by the information that the court had been in session that week…" A decree by default having been entered against him, Sturm does not object to the allegations in Graham's bill nor the proof taken, but says "that great injustice will be done him in the final decree, unless he be allowed to alledge and prove some matters, in the nature of set-off…[I]n the account against him he is charged with the rents, issues and profits [of] a certain farm in Indiana belonging to said minors...[W]hen he first bought said farm for said minors…he found it in no condition to be profitably used and enjoyed, and…to make it productive, he did throughout the years of 1845 up to the year 1850 make valuable and lasting improvements…consisting in part of the finishing of a dwelling house, the building of a smoke house & two stables, the planting of an apple orchard of eighteen trees, now bearing, and…clearing in the timber & fencing…fourteen acres and a half of land, and breaking the most of it…" For this, as well as for real estate taxes, expenses, and for nearly six and a half years of "custody and care" of the minors, furnishing their "necessary food, clothing, lodging, and schooling," Sturm seeks a set-off of more than $1600. If "allowed to make these allegations & proof of them, he will do so upon the terms, that he will dispute none of the proof of the complainant already in; that complainant make any additional proof in his power; that this affidavit stand for his answer in the cause; and that he will now produce his proofs and ask no continuance…He…has been guilty of no bad faith, in not answering sooner…but…has, in all things, intended to do full justice, with reasonable diligence as to time." Sturm boldly signs at conclusion. Extensive glassine repairs to fold breaks and tenderness; small marginal chip on last page. A long, interesting Lincoln legal, with over 700 words in his hand. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

    Please note: An "Unsigned Autograph Document" means that this document is written in Abraham Lincoln's own handwriting, but does not include a signature.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 413

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