Lincoln The Lawyer

: Good Stories For Great Holidays


He delighted to advocate the cases of those whom he knew to be wronged,

but he would not defend the cause of the guilty. If he discovered in the

course of a trial that he was on the wrong side, he lost all interest,

and ceased to make any exertion.

Once, while engaged in a prosecution, he discovered that his client's

cause was not a good one, and he refused to make t
e plea. His

associate, who was less scrupulous, made the plea and obtained a

decision in their favor. The fee was nine hundred dollars, half of which

was tendered to Mr. Lincoln, but he refused to accept a single cent of


His honesty was strongly illustrated by the way he kept his accounts

with his law-partner. When he had taken a fee in the latter's absence,

he put one half of it into his own pocket, and laid the other half

carefully away, labeling it "Billy," the name by which he familiarly

addressed his partner. When asked why he did not make a record of the

amount and, for the time being, use the whole, Mr. Lincoln answered:

"Because I promised my mother never to use money belonging to another