Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site - Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Surviving records from Eighth Circuit courthouses such as Metamora show that Lincoln and his colleagues practiced general, unspecialized law. They served as criminal defense counsel, handled divorce and family-law cases, oversaw the passage of estates through probate, and were available to handle a wide variety of civil suits and disputes. Lincoln handled more than 70 cases here, including two murders and two cases of fugitives from slavery.

Lincoln's law firm, Lincoln & Herndon, in which he practiced with his partner William Herndon, consisted of only two lawyers. It was based in Springfield, Illinois, and Lincoln was the circuit partner, traveling from county seat to county seat throughout the Eighth Circuit when the circuit court was in session. Researchers have found more than 70 Woodfood County circuit court cases handled by Mr. Lincoln from 1845 through 1858.

In these travels, Lincoln made friends all over central Illinois. These ties served him well in 1858 when he ran for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas. Although Lincoln lost this race, his oratory led to his gaining national attention and the nomination in 1860 as the candidate for president of the U.S. Republican Party.

Lincoln's speechmaking skills served him well as candidate and as president. These skills were honed as a trial lawyer in circuit courtrooms like this one.

Read more about this topic:  Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site

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Famous quotes by abraham lincoln:

    Legislation and adjudication must follow, and conform to, the progress of society.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

    Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

    I hope to ‘stand firm’ enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

    Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

    If the union of these States, and the liberties of this people, shall be lost, it is but little to any one man of fifty-two years of age, but a great deal to the thirty millions of people who inhabit these United States, and to their posterity in all coming time.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)