To Lauren Ford

29 January 1866


[MS in Finney Papers, Supplement #154.]


Two brief extracts from a letter of Finney were copied by Lauren Ford into the following letter to Finney:


New York Feby 2. 1866

No 128, Broadway


Supreme Court


Charles G. Finney } Novr. 19. 1864

agt } Judgment, Damages, $2106.63

Samuel Wise } Costs 156.58


Whole Judgment $2263.21


Interest from Novr. 19. 1864.


Revd C. G. Finney

Dr Sir

Your letter under date of

Jany. 29. 1866 in answer to mine of Jany. 22. is now

before me - Considering all the circumstances of the

business against S. Wise I am constrained to say

that your Letter is by no means satisfactory.

When I commenced the suit against Wise it

was not known to you or to me that he had obtained

a discharge from his Debts under our insolvent laws -

and the first intimation that I obtained of this

discharge was when he pleaded it in barring the

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action against him, and after this plea

was put in you was unwilling to proceed further

with the prosecution - Believing that I could invalidate

this discharge I offered, in writing, to go on with the

suit and incur the hazard of the Costs on both sides

if I failed in the suit, and you consented that I

should proceed upon this condition. I did proceed

in the suit, and after great labor I succeeded in

obtaining a Verdict in your favor against Wise for

$2967..97, at the Circuit Court. By your discretion

the amount to be entered in the Judgment was reduced

to $2106..63, and for this amount Judgment was

entered as stated at the head of this Letter.

In addition to the Bill of Costs $156.58 which is

included in the Judgment as above stated I paid

out, in the progress of this suit more than forty Dollars,

of my own money - making about $200..00 That is

due to me for my services in this business - -

In my letter of Jany 22 I proposed to take meas-

=ures to collect from Wise the whole or a part of the

Judgment, upon conditions stated in that letter, and

to that proposal you refer that you "do not wish to

have him disturbed by expensive law proceedings that

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might compel him to do what he is ill able to do"

and you add, for my encouragement I suppose,

"If it is ever collected your Costs will be paid of course."

In my letter above referred to, I stated certain

conditions upon which I was willing to proceed

against Wise - You reject the conditions proposed

and without stating any other conditions upon which

I may be allowed to proceed - you answer me by the

intimations above quoted from your letter. I con can

only infer from this that you will not consent, that

at present, any measures shall be adopted to collect

the Judgment from Wise.

If, as a special matter of favor to a man who

has attempted to defraud you, it is your pleasure to

suffer this Judgment to remain without an effort to

collect the whole or part of it, I have no cause to

complain of this determination, provided that my

charges in the matter are paid. But I cannot

consent that my claim for my Costs & expenses

should be indefinitely postponed, whilst you, who

have the sole control of the Judgment, will not

allow me to take the necessary steps to enforce the

payment from Wise - I cannot be considered


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unreasonable if I say to you that I expect

either that you pay me my costs & charges, an or

that you give me the proper authority to

proceed against Wise


Yours &c

L. Ford



Ford wrote:

I think it barely possible that something may be got out of Wise if expensive legal proceedings were instituted & pursued against him. Under these circumstances I am willing to make the attempt to get something on the Judgment on the following conditions - 1st you assign the Judgment to me - 2nd I will engage to bear all the expenses of a prosecution against him, & pay you ten percent of whatever may be realized as a part of the whole of the Damages in your Judgment $2106.63, after paying the Costs of the Judgment & of the further proceedings against Wise (L. Ford to Finney, 22 January 1866, Finney Papers).