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Lot 2: Abraham Lincoln Legal Brief
Rare Autograph, Manuscripts & Book & Aviation Auction
27 October 2016
Miami, FL, USA
Handwritten endorsement at the bottom of a lightly-lined 7.75 x 6.25 page, “And the pl[ainti]ff doth the like—Pearson & Lincoln p.q.,” dated April 1832. Legal brief regarding the case of Metcalf vs. Bennett in which the defendant, through his attorney Cooper, claims that he is “not guilty of the said supposed several trespasses,” as alleged in Lincoln’s handwritten endorsement at the conclusion. Two horizontal folds, with small old tape repairs to both on reverse, a bit of scattered mild toning and foxing, and a small brush to end portion of text, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a complete typescript from the Lincoln Library in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, This document was originally a part of the Henry E. Luhrs collection.
This case was among the very last that Lincoln addressed before being called to arms as a captain in the Illinois Militia. On April 5, 1832, nearly 1,000 Black Hawk Indian warriors and civilians crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois in an attempt to reclaim their land. In defense of the state, the 23-year-old Lincoln, who had recently announced his candidacy for the Illinois House of Representatives, responded to the governor's call for volunteer militia. Luhrs, one of the former owners of this document, was a well-known collector from the 1930s to 1960 who purchased items from the most famed autograph dealers of the day.
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