A year after loosing the 1832 congress election (although of the 300 votes cast at New Salem, Lincoln received 277) With the election over and with no job, Lincoln looked for other opportunities. Lincoln and his partner William Berry entered into a shared Blacksmith enterprise and a second store in New Salem, which they had purchased on credit in January 1833. Both these ventures were unsuccessful. According to Lincoln, the businesses simply put him deeper and deeper in debt, and in April 1833; he sold his interest in the store to Berry. Subsequently, Lincoln received an appointment as Postmaster of New Salem on May 7, 1833. He retained that position until the post office was relocated to Petersburg on May 30, 1836.
William Berry died on January 10, 1835, leaving 25 year old Abe. Lincoln saddled with the debts of the partnership ($1000). A considerable sum, which he vowed to pay off as a matter of honour. (As late as 1848, while serving as a United States Congressman from Illinois, Lincoln was finally able to pay off what he called "the national debt.")
This receipt is for payment of purchase of part of the stock, which enabled Lincoln to reduce his debt load somewhat.
In 1832 Rachael Berry, the daughter of William Berry, married a John Mann jr. who may be the Maj. John Mann of this receipt.
Provenance: Marskell’s & Sons Toronto 1980
Private Collection, Port Hope.