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PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN - AUTOGRAPH DOCUMENT UNSIGNED WITH J. L. SPRINGGATE - HFSID 286009

ABRAHAM LINCOLN While defending a woman accused of murdering her husband (1857), the future President added six lines of text in his own hand to the written deposition of a witness. Autograph Statement unsigned at the conclusion of Manuscript Document Signed: "J.L. Springgate", 2 pages, 7¾x12¼.

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ABRAHAM LINCOLN
While defending a woman accused of murdering her husband (1857), the future President added six lines of text in his own hand to the written deposition of a witness.
Autograph Statement unsigned at the conclusion of Manuscript Document Signed:
"J.L. Springgate", 2 pages, 7¾x12¼. Woodford County, [Metamora, Illinois], c. 1845-1857. AT THE CONCLUSION, SIX LINES IN THE HAND OF LINCOLN DIRECTLY ABOVE SPRINGGATE'S SIGNATURE, NOT SIGNED BY LINCOLN WHO WROTE, IN FULL: "Re-cross examination by defendants- The morning of the sale, Laws said that he wanted to go and buy horses, and wanted Vandike to go with him and be his security, and then they both, and this witness went to the sale together (The plaintiff objects to the last piece of evidence)". The names of the plaintiff and defendants are spelled differently throughout the document. Headed: "Deposition of Witness to be used in evidence on the trial of the case now pending in the Circuit Court of Woodford County where John A. Minahan is Plff & J J Lass & Wm G Vandike are defts pursuant to agreement representative of the parties." Springgate's deposition, in part: "I went out to look at horses. One was a horse and one a mare. Monahan then owned them. I afterwards saw them in possession of Laas. I saw the horses afterwards in Vandyke's possession. The horse and mare were then worth one hundred and fifty dollars each. I afterward saw the horse in possession of Peter Danwood...on cross examination. I seen Monahan bring down the horses and seen him take them to Laas' sable...Laas and Monahan were talking about horses Monahan said he has two to sell Laas Van Dyke and as Laas said he wanted to buy Laas Monahan then asked Laas to go and look at them...." Abraham Lincoln first practiced law at the Woodford County Court House in Metamora, Illinois in 1845, shortly after the building's completion, and made regular spring and fall stops until 1857. During those years the future President represented dozens of clients, mostly in routine civil suits. He worked the eighth circuit trying cases at an average of five dollars a case. One of Lincoln's most famous cases took place in Woodford County. On April 14, 1857, an argument between an elderly couple, Roswell and Melissa Goings, turned violent. Defending herself, Mrs. Goings picked up a piece of wood and struck two blows, killing her husband. Formal arraignment came on October 10, 1857, with the trial to begin later in day. Mrs. Goings hired Lincoln to be her lawyer. When the case was called in the afternoon, Melissa Goings was nowhere to be found. What happened is still unclear. Confronted by the bailiff when Mrs. Goings could not be found, Lincoln is reported to have said, "I did not run her off. She wanted to know where she could get a good drink of water, and I told her there was mighty good water in Tennessee." As Mr. Goings was known to have a violent temper, sympathy was with Mrs. Goings and no serious attempt was made to find her. In 1859, the murder charge was stricken from the court docket. Documents from Lincoln's years as a circuit lawyer are rarely encountered. This is a fine example. Horizontal folds. Partial left and right separations at mid-horizontal folds touch some words of text (none of Lincoln), all intact. Slightly irregular left edge. Fine condition.

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