Letter From Abijah Judson Abbott to his Son Raymond Barrington Abbott
21 June 1920

Context of the Letter

At the time this letter was written, A. J. was a retired judge living in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his second wife Ida (Patton). A. J.'s son Clarence (Edmond Clarence Abbott), also a lawyer, was in the regular Army and working in the Law Office in Washington, D.C. The recipient of the letter, Raymond Barrington Abbott, was A. J.'s third-eldest son and living with his wife Louise (Warner) and three young sons. Then a professor in the Physics Department at Purdue University, Raymond evidently had written to his father asking for advice about copyrights.

Meanwhile, A. J. apparently had been asked by members of the Coat/Coppock Corporation to take over the legal duties of the corporation, which was organized to pursue the possibility of obtaining a rather large settlement for lands in and around Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania that were supposedly leased for 99 years and were supposed to have been returned to the heirs of the owners. A. J. enlisted the help of son Clarence to search the land records for evidence of the claim and also to assemble the genealogical information required to establish just who those heirs would be. In the letter reproduced here, A. J. replies to Raymond about the patent application, tells what he knows about the Philadelphia Land Lease case, and describes the family's genealogical relationship to Marmaduke Coat.

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