Thursday, April 30, 2009

Abraham Lincoln and the Gallatin County Deed

The Illinois State Archives has rolls of LDS microfilm, including deed indexes and deeds from Gallatin County. In preparation I consulted the Family History Library Catalog and decided that I would review FHL Film #977344 (The Illinois Archives uses the FHL numbers, too) which was Deeds v. N-O 1845 - 1851. During a trip in the fall, I extracted a list of deeds I wanted to see.

While scanning through the microfilm #977344 a name popped out at me - Abraham Lincoln! I was quite excited and thought perhaps I had stumbled across some overlooked document concerning Mr. Lincoln. The deed would have been indexed as Dorman for "Grantor" and Jones & Others (Lincoln being one of the "others") for "Grantee." Were historians aware of Lincoln's activity in Gallatin County? Short answer -- yes. Lincoln represented the Dormans in a case before the Illinois Supreme Court -- and won.

Gallatin Co., IL, Deed #N-38
Gallatin County, Illinois
Book "N", Page 38
Rec'd 17 April 1845
Dated: 27 February 1845

Dorman & wife
Jones and Others

Know all men of these presents that we William H. Dorman and Mary Nancy his wife are held and firmly bound unto Edward Jones, Abraham Lincoln of Sangamon county and ___ Marshall in the sum of twelve hundred dollars for....being executors and administrators....said William and Nancy Dorman have employed the said Jones, Lincoln and Marshall to defend against a certain petition of John Lane as administrator de bonis non of the estate Christopher Robinson, deceased, father of said Mary Nancy

....real Circuit Court Gallatin County....if Jones, Lincoln and Marshall shall succeed in William and Mary Nancy Jane Dorman shall will and truly make and deliver a proper and sufficient conveyance in fee simple of the SE ¼ of Section 22 Township 8 S Range 8 E commonly known as the John McClernand tract *or farm to them....this obligation to be void but otherwise to remain in full force and in case they don't succeed then William and Mary Nancy to pay them a reasonable fee for their services.....said Jones, Lincoln, and Marshall to attend this suit until it is fully settled.

Witness: Mary (her mark) Ann Chandler
Signed: William Dorman
Signed: Nancy Dorman

*John McClernand purchased land from Christopher Robinson's estate

One never knows for sure what gems are hidden in the dusty (or microfilmy) deeds. Perhaps a small piece of history?

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