SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today announced that an original deed written in 1845 by Abraham Lincoln for a piece of property in Springfield has been donated to the Illinois State Historical Library. The donation was made by 93-year-old Glenn W. Allen of Delavan, Illinois and his 96-year-old sister Dorothy C. Allen of Peoria, great-grandchildren of the man who bought the property in 1845.
The deed was written July 23, 1845 by Lincoln, who was acting for his friend Jesse K. DuBois. In January 1840 DuBois appointed Lincoln as his power of attorney to dispose of two lots of land in Springfield near what is now the intersection of Jackson and Ninth Streets, less than a block from where both men would eventually live. Lincoln sold the first lot in 1841, and in 1845 sold the second lot to James L. Hill. The deed conveys the property to Hill, and is signed “Jesse K. DuBois By A. Lincoln, his attorney in fact.”
Hill was originally from Pennsylvania and settled in Indiana, where he married. About 1838 he moved to Springfield and became a real estate and insurance agent. The lot he purchased from DuBois for $50 was a desirable piece of land in the same block as Springfield’s public market. As a real estate agent, Hill probably recognized the land’s value and didn’t keep it very long. In 1848 he sold the lot to Elisha Saunders for $80. However, Hill kept the original deed written and signed by Lincoln and passed it
along to his family, where it has remained until now.
Lincoln and DuBois served as Whigs in the Illinois General Assembly, and in 1856 Lincoln recommended DuBois for Illinois State Auditor, a position he held for eight years. At the time of the 1845 property sale, DuBois lived in Lawrenceville, Illinois. DuBois eventually moved to Springfield in 1857 and lived in the same neighborhood as Lincoln.