clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

DISCOVERY BOLSTERS LINCOLN'S REPUTATION AS LAWYER

The recent discovery of National Archives records showing Abraham Lincoln's involvement in two Supreme Court cases bolsters his reputation as a lawyer, a researcher said Friday.

On Feb. 16, 1853, Lincoln sent an order from Springfield, Ill., to the court asking that a title dispute case be logged in the docket and dismissed.In the second case, Lincoln signed the back of a fee bond Jan. 29, 1849, certifying that two Illinois lawyers could pay court costs for their clients.

Both cases originated in Illinois, and lawyers from the state sought Lincoln's participation because he was an attorney of record at the Supreme Court, said John Lupton of Lincoln Legal Papers, based in Springfield, Ill.

"Other attorneys would come to him for help. I think it shows that these people at least had some respect for Lincoln as an attorney," Lupton said.

Before these finds, Lupton said, researchers knew of only three Supreme Court cases involving Lincoln: He argued before the court in one; submitted a brief in the second and was considered the attorney of record in a third.

Fellow researcher Abigail Sutton found the cases in a National Archives research room while searching for Supreme Court records. She discovered the title dispute case before Labor Day and the second case on Monday.