28. William W. Thomas to William H. Herndon.
Jacksonville 16 June 1865.
D. Sr. — I answer your note of yesterday. —
I was Elected Circuit Judge of 1 Circuit in February 1839. my Commission bears date 26 February 1839. up to 23 Feby 1839 the 1 circuit was composed the counties of Sangamon, Morgan, Greene, Macoupin, Tazewell McLean, Macon, see acts of 1837 p 112.
47appointed by Govr. Carlin. I held the court in March '39 in Sangamon, for Judge Logan, and again in the Summer, for Judge Treat, In the fall of 1839 I held the courts in Tazewell & McLean, — While Judge Treat held courts for me in Macoupin, Scott & I believe Cass, —
Mr Lincoln did not attend the courts in my circuit regularly. — he was at our court in Pike, — several Terms in Morgan, — he was at the courts in Tazewell & McLean, — and in the latter court, made one of the best speeches he ever made in defence of an old Indian Indicted for Burning a Steam Mill.
I ceased to be judge upon the passage of the Law of 1840 & 1 Abolishing circuit courts, & requiring Supreme Judges to hold cir Courts. — (See the Law — I became acquainted with Mr Lincoln first in the Spring of 1832 at Beardstown acting Capt. of a company going to the Black Hawk War of that year, —
Mr Lincoln was remarkable for liberality, fairness and honesty in his practice as Attorney. —
W W Thomas.
Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2190; Huntington Library: LN2408, 2:437 — 38